“The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” gives readers an inside look at the lives of the wealthy residents of exclusive Prairie Avenue of Chicago during the late 1800’s just prior to the opening of the World’s Fair. As the gilded age is nearing its end, lifestyles are indulgent among the rich with heavy emphasis on their social standing. Making the proper marriage connection is of utmost importance within the upper class.

Lucy Banning is the only daughter of one of the Prairie Avenue families. She has been groomed to marry the son of her parents’ best friends for most of her life. As Lucy is pressured to set a wedding date and spend her time planning the event, she is much too involved with her secret college class and her orphanage work, the true loves of her life. When she meets her brother’s friend Will, she realizes that she loves Daniel like a brother and can never marry him. His resistance to her decision and his increasingly unusual behavior haunts her every move. A subplot that features a new maid in the Banning household adds extra interest to the story and just might be the lead-in to the next installment of this series.

“The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” has just the right blend of drama, romance, and even a bit of suspense. The neighborhood of Prairie Avenue was so well described that I could imagine walking down the street and viewing the marvelous architecture of the homes there. Lucy was a strong character with many redeeming qualities, especially her tender heart toward those less fortunate than herself. Will was the perfect match for her even if he didn’t measure up to her family’s social standards.

I very much enjoyed my brief look into the world of the rich and famous of Chicago and a lifestyle that no longer exists. I can’t wait for the next book of the series.


This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


Riveting Story of Love, Wealth & Secrets as Historic Chicago Prepares for 1893 World’s Fair

Marshall Field, Henry Studebaker, Pullman, Kimball, Glessner, Bissell, Armour and Rothschild— these names add up to business inventiveness and unbounded wealth in turn-of-the-century Chicago – but changing social classes are threatening the luxury of the elite Prairie Avenue, the playground for the rich and powerful. Olivia Newport introduces readers to a world of luxurious mansions, secrets and forbidden love in the Windy City.

Set on Prairie Avenue, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning gives an inside look to the rich and powerful on the eve of the 1893 World’s Fair in the Windy City. Olivia Newport transports readers to a time of opulence in the first installment in the Avenue of Dreams series.

Lucy Banning may live 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?

From lavish upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history–and everyone is invited.


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.