The second installment of Olivia Newport’s Avenue of Dreams series, “The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow” offers the reader an inside look at the lives of servants during the late 1800’s in Chicago. This novel features Charlotte, a maid in the Banning household who readers first met in “The Pursuit of Lucy Banning”. Believing her friend Lucy has made arrangements for her young son that will allow her to retain her position in the Banning home, Charlotte is blindsided when the baby’s caretaker delivers him to her just before the family is to arrive home from their summer at the lake. Knowing she will be terminated if the Bannings learn of her baby, Charlotte must pretend that he is a foundling and conceal her true relationship to the child.
As Charlotte wrestles with decisions about what is best for baby Henry, whether she should tell the Bannings the truth, and her angst at watching an incompetent and disinterested young servant take charge of him, she feels as if her problems are hopeless. Archie, the head coachman, loves Charlotte and tries to support her as much as he can without knowing the secrets she is hiding. Little does he know how those secrets could affect his own life.
“The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow” is a well-written story with abundant historical details about life among the rich during that era and interesting features of the Chicago World’s Fair, including a description of the first Ferris Wheel that intrigued me enough to investigate it further on the internet. I had no idea how much Ferris wheels have changed since their original design. With plenty of drama, a sweet romance with a hero to admire, and a strong theme about the importance of depending on the Lord, this book is a must-read for historical fiction lovers.
This book was provided for review by
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?
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Olivia Newport is the author of?The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. 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.
Endorsements for Olivia Newport and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow:
“In the character of Charlotte Farrow, Olivia Newport gives voice to the countless thousands of women in domestic service who were seen but rarely heard. Set with exacting detail in Chicago during the World’s Columbian Exposition, Charlotte’s tale of courage and struggle will keep you on the edge of your seat from the first page to the last.”–William Tyre, executive director and curator, Glessner House Museum
“Newport’s latest novel, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, provides an enthralling examination of the complex class and gender barriers in nineteenth-century Chicago. Second in the Avenue of Dreams series, this book will find swarms of devoted fans rooting for Charlotte Farrow, a mother forced to make excruciating choices in a world where women have limited options. The storyline is not only unique but also framed by a delicately designed backdrop of both luxury and longing. With timeless themes, Newport gives voice to women across the ages who have found themselves fighting for what matters most, and in the end, readers will join the battle cry.”–Julie Cantrell, New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of Into the Free