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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In The Best Thing About Bennett by Irene Wittig, Bennett Hall’s final day at Bancroft, Chandler and Co. may have gone unnoticed by her work colleagues, but she is determined to enjoy her early retirement now that she is no longer carer to her egotistical aunt. When Bennett discovers some old letters, she realizes that her kindness had been rewarded with the cruelest betrayal. As she tries to heal from the truth, a handsome widower, Dr. Joe Muir, and his two adopted children move next door. As Bennett tries to ignore her feelings for the handsome doctor, she soon discovers the children have an elder sister, Grace, who was left behind in Uganda. Bennett manages to overcome her ingrained lack of confidence in the hope she can reunite Joe’s children with their elder sibling and hopefully capture his heart. As Bennett arrives in Uganda, she realizes that the process of finding Grace and bringing her to the US is filled with danger and corruption. Bennett must now face her biggest fears if she is going to be successful in her mission.
The Best Thing About Bennett by Irene Wittig is such a beautiful story with many subtle but powerful life lessons weaved throughout. Bennett was the most amazing character; her kindness and selflessness toward others were unwavering. I also loved her high moral standards and this was highlighted in the presentation scene at Bancroft, Chandler and Co. I appreciated the detailed backstory of Bennett as this gave a great insight into her personality and view of the world. Although Bennett had some support from characters such as Jacob, Meyer Gold, and Mrs. McElroy, she seemed to be the emotional rock for everyone she met. There were so many strong and interesting sub-plots that supported the main storyline perfectly. The suspense and tension when she was in Uganda were superb and I found Bennett’s transformation from a woman filled with self-doubt to a courageous warrior absolutely wonderful. I also thought the scenes in Uganda highlighted the horrific living conditions and treatment of girls so vividly. There were some incredible scenes throughout the novel but the scene between Meyer and Bennett when they discuss regrets in life was incredibly emotional to read. The letter Meyer wrote to Bennett was beautiful and brought a tear to my eye. I thought the relationship between Bennett and Joe was endearing and was developed perfectly too. A highly compelling novel that will keep your interest until the final page.