Book Review: Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham

Posted November 15, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 32 Comments

Authentically, Izzy
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

by Pepper Basham
Publication Date November 9, 2022
Published by Thomas Nelson Incorporated
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Pages: 432
Format: ARC

***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***

Dear Reader, My name is Isabelle Louisa Edgewood--Izzy, for short. I live by blue-tinted mountains, where I find contentment in fresh air and books. Oh, and coffee and tea, of course. And occasionally in being accosted by the love of my family. (You'll understand my verb choice in the phrase later.) I dream of opening my own bookstore, but my life, particularly my romantic history, has not been the stuff of fairy tales. Which is probably why my pregnant, misled, matchmaking cousin--who, really, is more like my sister--signed me up for an online dating community.

The trouble is . . . it worked. I've met my book-quoting Mr. Right, and our correspondence has been almost too good to be true. But Brodie lives across an ocean. And just the other day, a perfectly nice author and professor named Eli came into the library where I work and asked me out for a coffee. I feel a rom-com movie with a foreboding disaster nipping at my heels.

But I've played it safe for a long time. Maybe it's time for me to be as brave as my favorite literary heroines. Maybe it's time to take the adventures from the page to real life. Wish me luck.

Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham is a delightful bookish romantic comedy that is mostly emails and text messages, but I found them to be well written and drew me right into the story. 

Story Recap: 

Izzy Edgewood wants to own a bookshop and find the love of her life.  While her best friend can’t help her with the bookshop, she can help her find the love of her life by setting her up on a dating app.  

She “meets” Brodie on the app, and they start to correspond and they realize they have a lot in common. But, they live thousands of miles away from each other.  After months of correspondence, will they ever meet? And if they do, will they meet each other’s expectations? 

My Thoughts: 

I was surprised when I saw that almost the entire book was made up of emails and text messages, but once I started reading, I realized that the two main characters are both bookish people who are also good writers, and that make this epistolary style of story work for me. 

Izzy is a strong bookish woman who just wants to own a bookstore and find someone to love. She’s funny and has a supportive and interfering family. And Brodie is a wonderful hero, he’s kind, with a delightful sense of humor.  He also has a supportive family.  

The messages and emails are not just between Izzy and Brodie but include each of their family members too.  In this way, we get to meet and enjoy Izzy’s sisters and brother and Brodie’s family too.  They are all such wonderful characters and I enjoyed the way they each had their own style when writing.  

This is a clean romance with some religious content, but it was not overwhelming.  I enjoyed the fictional country where Brodie lived and his family and bookstore.  


I highly recommend Authentically, Izzy to anyone who enjoys clean romance.  I received a complimentary copy of this book.  The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

About Pepper Basham

I wrote my first story when I was a nine year- old, freckled-faced tomboy in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains (my earlier writings wouldn’t have been considered “books”, more like short stories). Coming from a long line of oral storytellers, weaving a good yarn seemed a typical part of my life. It wasn’t until I finished college, had two children, and a full-time job before I began to study the ‘craft’ of writing (you know when I had plenty of time).

My music-director turned pastor husband took his first senior pastor position eight years ago, moved the 6 of us to Tennessee, where we added our fifth and final kid to the Basham crew. And now we’re in Asheville, NC. Yep, we love the Blue Ridge Mountains.

So…now I’m an older, freckled-faced mommy enjoying life, learning to write, and laughing often. My mom says that I must have a small bit of insanity because I don’t realize how stressed I ought to be.

I’m also a speech-language pathologist who spends her time hanging out with kids who have social communication and language difficulties! It’s a challenge and a blessing – and constantly teaches me about the importance of thinking outside the box!

My newest book, The Heart of the Mountains, brings readers into the early 20th century Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It’s a sequel to Laurel’s Dream and both are now available.

Have you read Authentically, Izzy?

32 responses to “Book Review: Authentically, Izzy by Pepper Basham

  1. This sounds like such a delight to read! And I love the emphasis on books.
    Will need to check it out! Excellent review, Wendy.

  2. This is an interesting writing style and brings epistolary writing into the 21st century. I read the author’s bio and can’t imagine having the time or energy to do all she does.

  3. Oh I love bookish books! I would love to own a bookstore….wouldn’t that be magical? The epistolary style must be interesting, the only other epistolary book I’ve read is the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Hope you are having a nice week, Wendy!


    • I would love to own a bookstore too. I really want to read Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I’ve seen the movie, which I really enjoyed.

  4. I have an ARC for this one but saw that it was better to read in book form, so I ordered it and will read it when it gets here 🙂 Lovely review, Wendy!

  5. Rosie

    Not sure that writing style would work for my enjoyment. But I know some readers like yourself, don’t mind it at all.