Adelina Roseland, Ph.D., works at the University of Virginia – Charlottesville. She works in speech and accent modification. She’s been assigned for a year to Blue Ridge University in Ransom, in Virginia’s Appalachia country. She’ll be working on a joint project managed by both schools, as well as another project.
A colleague has also challenged her to help transform a local Ransom man for an interview in Chicago in 12 weeks. And it’s a bet – if she wins, she gets to make a big conference presentation, which will help her immeasurably in getting a tenured position at the University of Virginia.
Adelina brings considerable psychological and spiritual baggage with her. Her father died in an automobile accident when she was 14; her mother had already been an alcoholic before his death. She’s still mad at her father for dying, and she’s remained angry and distant from her mother. She’s also carrying significant prejudice about the colleagues she’ll be working with and her expected clients, including the man, Reese Mitchell, who has the Chicago interview.
Initially, her impressions conform to her prejudices. Reese Mitchell may be tall and lean but his bushy beard and his accent, not to mention his grammar, seem like something out of Deliverance. Only slowly does she look beyond her prejudices and her ambitions, to learn about Reese the man, his extended family, his charm, his faith, and his depth.
And, yes, A Twist of Faith by Pepper Basham is an American Southern Christian take on Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. Emphasizing the connection are quotations from Pygmalion at the beginning of each chapter.
Basham is the author of numerous historical and contemporary romance novels, novellas, and stories. A Twist of Faith is the first in her Mitchell Crossroads series; the second is Charming the Troublemaker. She and her family live in Asheville, North Carolina.
It’s a sweet, engaging story, and it fits well with our current national conversation about coastal America and flyover country and the prejudices of the educated classes.