She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?
Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago’s rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work and squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating.
When she meets Will, an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World’s Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family’s expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?
Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago’s high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes.
Coming across a new author is always a little intimidating because the adventure of a read may really go either way. Reviews out there are almost all favorable and this Christian Historical Fiction reader agrees with all the positive! Olivia Newport transports readers into a fast paced, but enjoyable read in an area and time not often covered. This book will be enjoyed by Downton Abbey fans as well as many others. Step your feet in to enjoy the world of both the Chicago aristocracy as well as the maids and others downstairs.
The title is The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, however, Lucy is not the only story you will find. Enter in and follow Lucy, Charlotte, Will and Daniel as well as get to know the Banning family through out these short and few pages and be entertained in a glamorous and real world. There are orphans in need and espionage to be had. Watch a bit of a feminist as well as social movement unfold while entertaining the hustle and bustle of a historic event in the background.
Olivia Newport is a new to this reader author and this first novel into the Avenue of Dreams is not the last be added to the shelf for the Creative Madness Mama. Continuing and understanding of the social classes was enjoyable and interesting. The romantic heart wants to scream leave them all and run away for love! Yet the practical is curious how anything could possibly work out in the end. Olivia did an impressive and engaging job keeping all the characters alive and coming off the page again and again. So much to wonder and guess what may be.
From a female college student, to an orphanage of children with parents still living, to dealing with a disease of the mind this author provides pages of distraction that get in your heart and make you keep going. Looking forward to continuing Charlotte’s story in 2013.
*Thank to Revell Books for providing a copy for review.*
Olivia Newport‘s novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is.
“Hats off to Olivia Newport and the debut novel The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. The characters are compelling, and Chicago’s history comes alive on each page. Readers will feel like they’ve been transported back to 1892.”–Andrea Boeshaar, author of Seasons of Redemption series
“Lucy Banning is my kind of heroine, pushing against the strictures of her times of the 1890s. Her love and caring wraps around your heart as it does those who need her and even to those who wish her harm. A fine read from this first-time author.”–Lauraine Snelling, author of the Red River of the North series and The Wild West Wind series
“Newport brings to life historical Chicago with fascinating insight into the wealthy families of Prairie Avenue, portraying the heart-wrenching disparity in the lifestyles of the elite and working class. She gives us a worthy heroine who struggles to break free of the constraints of her time and offers grace to those less fortunate. The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is a beautiful and sweet romance that will touch readers’ hearts.”–Jody Hedlund, award-winning author of The Preacher’s Bride and The Doctor’s Lady
The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow
Book 2 of the Avenue of Dreams Series
Revell, January 2013
Charlotte Farrow, maid in the wealthy Banning household on Chicago’s opulent Prairie Avenue, has kept her baby boy a secret from her employers for nearly a year. But when the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him, Charlotte must decide whether to come clean and face dismissal or keep her secret while the Bannings decide the mysterious child’s fate. Can she face the truth of her own past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life’s tragedies determine the future for her?
This compelling story set against the glittering backdrop of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition captures the tension between the wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable. Author Olivia Newport expertly explores social classes while creating a story of courage, strength, and tender romance.