Dear Prudence

Romance - Contemporary
293 Pages
Reviewed on 04/28/2024
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Andy Hutchings for Readers' Favorite

I enjoyed Karen Janowsky’s romantic novel Dear Prudence, a delightful and engaging story about two people at turbulent crossroads in their lives. They are thrown together and forced to contend with their growing feelings for each other adding further complications. Straight out of the gate, this romance author manages to avoid the two-dimensional characters so common in the genre by breathing realism and nuance into the protagonists. Pru’s cautious behavior is rooted in anxiety and the fact that she is being stalked by an abusive ex, both of whom are portrayed in a tasteful but honest way that many readers will be able to resonate with.

As Pru is given the opportunity to move forward with her life while getting to know Shawn, we’re shown that Shawn too is a three-dimensional character in whom many of us will recognize elements of our own lives. Seeking a path whilst facing pressure from every direction to do what others want him to, he demonstrates Karen Janowsky’s mastery of characterization that eschews caricature and cliché in favor of realistic human beings. The grounded approach to characterization throughout Dear Prudence is deftly balanced against gorgeous prose that beautifully illustrates these extraordinary ordinary people and their journey toward something that could bring happiness to both their lives. I found myself likening several passages to the music produced by Pru and her orchestra; a moving symphony that highlights the emotionally charged journey being undertaken throughout the piece. A masterful demonstration of a romance that doesn’t need well-worn clichés to tell its story. I highly recommend this book.