Saturday, January 26, 2013

A Trip Back in Time -- The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

Olivia Newport's The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow provides an intriguing visit to the world of Chicago's rich Prairie Avenue district at the time of the 1893 World's Fair.  The characters -- both the wealthy Banning family and their servants -- come vibrantly alive, thanks to the great detail with which Olivia describes them.  

Charlotte's dilemma of how to handle the secret about her baby, as well as the difficulties encountered by the other servants, depicts much of the struggle of those seemingly trapped in the lower social class of the time.  The willingness of some and refusal of others to bridge the wide gap between the classes makes for a very engaging story.

Historical fiction has become one of my favorite genres, and this book is an excellent example.  The information Olivia Newport shares about Ferris's giant wheel and other details from that period of time make for fascinating reading.  And if you happen to be a fan of TV's Downton Abbey, I think you may find yourself making connections with some of its characters as you read this book.

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is book two in the Avenue of Dreams series.  It worked well for me as a stand-alone novel, but  I enjoyed it so much that I want to go back and get the beginning of the story in The Pursuit of Lucy Banning.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

About the Book

In the second book of the Avenue of Dreams series, Olivia Newport explores the complicated relationship between social classes while creating a story of courage, strength, and tender romance.  Set against the glittering backdrop of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, this compelling story captures the tension between the wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.

Charlotte Farrow, a 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 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?

About the Author

Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her husband and two adult 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 daylilies grow as tall as she is.

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