NEW this week…
The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow (Avenue of Dreams #2) by Olivia Newport
3 of 5 stars
When the Bannings’ maid Charlotte is left without a caretaker for her infant son, she must decide whether to tell the truth about him, or stand by as the family helps the presumably ‘abandoned’ boy find a new home.
Soon he would sleep peacefully in the Banning nursery, of all places, while people were trying to sort out what was best for him… She felt like Moses’s mother, hired to take care of her own child.
This Christian historical fiction novel is the sequel to The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, and — in my opinion — even better than the first book. I found Charlotte a more likable character, and her main conflict in this novel more believable and heart-wrenching than whether Lucy should tell her parents she was attending college. Not only that, but this one featured even more information about the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which was the setting of both novels. It played into Charlotte’s dilemma, instead of simply being a backdrop, as it was for Lucy’s. Charlotte’s relationship to God also played a larger role in this novel than the last as she learned to trust Him.
I would hesitate, however, to call this a romance novel — the romantic element was definitely a subplot, and it seemed that the development of the affection had happened prior to the start of this novel — they already liked each other; they merely had to remove the obstacles in their path.
Overall: A touching novel of a mother’s love as she learns to trust God.
The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport
3 of 5 stars
As one of the 1980s Chicago’s elite upper class, Lucy Banning must overcome her family’s expectations for her and keep a number of secrets in order to follow her heart.
Attending the university was precisely what Lucy was doing — at least, one class — despite Flora Banning’s conviction that higher education was irrelevant for her daughter, and for that matter, all young ladies from fine families with good prospects.
This Christian historical fiction romance takes place among the hubbub of preparation for Chicago’s 1983 World’s Fair. Since reading The Devil in the White City last year, I’ve taken a keen interest in the Chicago World’s Fair, and found this book captured the excitement and anticipation of the city during that time. Lucy is a bright and caring heroine whose story is not without its bumps and personality not without flaws, but whose optimism never leads the reader to doubt that she’ll live happily ever after one way or another.
Though this is intended to be a work of Christian fiction, there’s little “God talk” at all; I had expected more than a few lines about a sermon (that Lucy didn’t even like) and a reference to a character picking up her Bible for the first time in a long time.
Overall: A good, clean romance set in an exciting time in history.