Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Book Review: The Pursuit of Lucy Banning by Olivia Newport/4 Stars
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 the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets 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?
Readers will love being swept away into a world of mansions, secrets, and romance as they follow Lucy through the streets of the Windy City during one of the most exciting times in the city's history. From opulent upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Olivia Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history--and everyone is invited.
What a lovely journey back to the Gilded Era in fiction! I tell ya, this has got to be my favorite period of history to read about. I love the fashion, the manners, the occasions--all of it just makes me smile. And what's even better is now this era has a new author to add to it's ranks--Olivia Newport.
Considering this was her debut novel, I was extremely impressed with the balance throughout the story. There was a small bit of romance, a little air of mystery and suspicion, and a glorious backdrop of the 1893 World's Fair. All three blended together made for a delightful read.
What was a bit disappointing, though, was that it didn't really feel like a Christian fiction novel. There were a couple of instances where church was mentioned, but Christian elements did not weave themselves through the story like the books I've read by other authors published through Revell. However, for someone looking for simply a clean novel, I'd have no trouble recommending this one.
Olivia looks like she'll be one busy lady in the next few years with all the books she's slated to release! I, for one, am anxious to see what her style is like with some other genres, but will be even more eager to take another journey back to Prairie Avenue in Chicago with the next book in this series.
Sass? There were a couple doses of it, yes, but Lucy still tried to maintain her image of a dutiful daughter even if not everyone knew her secrets.
**Many thanks to Revell for providing a copy for review.