Professional Reviews : The Attractiveness of Wisdom

[Following is an official review of “The Attractiveness of Wisdom” by Judy Kelly.]

by Rosemary Wright » 24 Feb 2022, 06:44

The Attractiveness of Wisdom, by Judy Kelly, follows Hamilton Maddox, a dean of a college of education. He wanted his family together despite his wife’s infidelity, but she ensured that the divorce became final. Hamilton was really devastated by the divorce. Heeding the advice of people close to him, he went on leave immediately. He had to adjust to his new life, as a single man with two children in college and one at home for now. To get rid of his harrowing thoughts, he took a trip to Hawaii.

In Hawaii, Hamilton met a woman, Anita, who urged him to make a promise that henceforth he would reach out to people, take a risk, and go on with his life. Hamilton returned to Maryland, and his son talked him into helping at a dance studio, where he met some interesting people. Did Hamilton succeed in keeping his promise? Did he take the risk, and was it favorable?

The Attractiveness of Wisdom is engaging and well written. The author provided rich descriptions of events and scenery, especially the dance lessons. Moreover, the story flows smoothly, even though it includes backstories involving Hamilton’s parents, relationship with his wife, and so forth.

Involving the Christian faith, the book contains some life-changing lessons. I love how the protagonist, who was a controlling person, discovered himself and changed into an undemanding person. In addition, the conversations are intriguing. I like the way Hamilton interacted with his kids. However, the book includes the loss of loved ones. Hence, sensitive readers may not want to read it.

However, though the story is coherent, some parts of it seemed somewhat flat, particularly the dance narratives. I guess I didn’t enjoy those parts because I prefer watching people dance to reading the narrative. Besides, for me, though the story shows how Hamilton got over his divorce and got a new life, I didn’t see any extraordinary events until towards the end of it. Furthermore, it ends with an unpleasant event, which I think the author should have avoided. The other way around would have made the story more exciting. Anyway, that’s the author’s storyline; she wanted her story that way and she narrated it in a coherent manner.

Regarding the characters, they are lifelike and relatable. The author gave enough details about their personalities, backgrounds, and looks. I love Hamilton. He’s a nice and strong man. I appreciate how he handled the divorce issue and the things he did before he got back to his professional work.

Finally, I rate The Attractiveness of Wisdom 4 out of 4 stars. I didn’t rate it lower because it’s engaging and enlightening. It has a solid plot. I didn’t enjoy some parts, but fans of ballroom dancing, including the tango, will love those parts. Besides, the book was well edited. It’ll be a great read for anyone who wants to overcome an unpleasant experience and go on with their life.

The Attractiveness of Wisdom
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Latest Review: Odyssey of a Free Spirit by Rod Wilson

Wisconsin Bookwatch: April 2022

James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief

Midwest Book Review

278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

Synopsis: After a tumultuous marriage and struggling trying to keep it together, Hamilton, a university dean, sets out on a perilous emotional journey to change his life and seek the kind of love he’s always wanted. He’s tired of controlling his life and the lives of others.

Hamilton meets Franny, a troubled dance teacher, and accepts her job offer of organizer in her studio. When Franny injures her foot, Hamilton must step out of his secure place to help. His trepidation increases when he meets a research journalist who falls in love with him. But her life isn’t what it seems. He fears controlling her, and after her convent life she needs his love.

Will Hamilton wise up and learn how a man truly loves a woman, the value of friendship and the need for prayer?

Critique: “The Attractiveness of Wisdom” by Judy Kelly is a deftly crafted, reader engaging, and exceptionally entertaining, heart-warming, enthralling novel with truly memorable characters. Showcasing the author’s genuine flair as a novelist for originality and with a gifted approach to narrative driven storytelling, “The Attractiveness of Wisdom” is especially and unreservedly recommended for community library Contemporary Romance Fiction collections. It should be noted for the personal reading lists of those who enjoy literary novels with a Christian perspective that “The Attractiveness of Wisdom” is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99).

This review will also appear in the Cengage Learning, Gale interactive CD-ROM series “Book Review Index” which is published four times yearly for academic, corporate, and public library systems.

Additionally, this review will be archived on our Midwest Book Review website for the next five years at

I look forward to your next title!

James A. Cox


Midwest Book Review

278 Orchard Drive

Oregon, WI, 53575, USA

Stacie Hearne <> wrote:

Hi Judy,

Here’s the review of your book “The Attractiveness of Wisdom,”

Stacie Hearne

            The Attractiveness of Wisdom, by Judy Kelly, is contemporary fiction from a unique point of view. The novel’s theme, the devastation and heartache of divorce as a life-changing challenge, is from the husband’s perspective.   Hamilton Maddox has refused to recognize the problems facing his marriage to HolliAnne. His long-held belief that “marriage is a community of two… people (who) decide on the tenets of their marriage and work together toward a prosperous future” has failed him. As a result, Hamilton hasn’t dared confront her or himself, preferring to control the status quo. This is a heart-squeezing and charming story that will appeal to women who would like better to understand men’s personalities, emotions, and perspectives. 

            With the divorce final and no sign of reconciliation, Hamilton is forced to start a new life. Instead of feeling free and unchained, he experiences feelings of insignificance, “hollow, lonely, betrayed, and cheated.” His sense of loss of control of his life weighs heavily on his heart and soul as he attempts to rationalize that some things are beyond his control. The reader is sympathetic as Hamilton, dedicated custodial father of three sets out to repurpose his life and become a better person worthy of love. He had always been the decision-maker, the provider, the fix-it man. What happened to that invincible man? Can he find out who he really is and what he really wants so he can stop hurting? 

            The author’s talent is especially evident in her ability to present unique characters throughout the story. Each of the minor characters who influence Hamilton on his road to discovery elicits a story of their own. Anita, a young woman whose fiancé died just before their wedding, challenges him to enter the risk-taking arena. Franny, a dance instructor, helps Hamilton to be less afraid of responsibilities beyond his control, and Emma, with a unique back story, offers Hamilton an unexpected blessing. 

            The author offers the reader many take-aways to remember and apply in their own life.  

Hamilton struggles to recognize that he was so busy controlling his own life and the lives of those around him that he missed enjoying life. He learns to be a friend and confidant and take risks involving his heart.  

Both spellbinding and tender, this tale is a celebration of unique personalities and a call for readers to muster the courage to fight for what is right. A wise friend shares with Hamilton, “We don’t control our lives. God does.” “Just follow Him.” 

Thank you, everyone, for your kind words and encouragement in response to the blog posts I sent out. Your comments were very encouraging. As a result, I applied for the Independent Press Award. See what happened?

My newest novel: