About the book:
Sarah Cummings has one goal in life--to break into Chicago's high society. Desperate to stop serving dinner and to start eating at society tables, Sarah alters cast-off gowns from the wealthy Banning women to create lustrous, flattering dresses of her own. On a whim at a chance meeting, she presents herself as Serena Cuthbert, weaving a fictitious past to go with her fictitious name. But as she gets closer to Simon Tewell, the director of St. Andrew's Orphanage, Sarah finds that she must choose between the life she has and the life she dreams of. Will she sacrifice love to continue her pretense? Or can Simon show her that sometimes you don't have to pretend for dreams to come true?
Olivia Newport brings us back to Prairie Avenue to explore the place where class, social expectations, and romance come together. Readers will enjoy following the intrepid Sarah as she searches for true love in a world of illusions.
Olivia Newport is a fantastic storyteller. Her grasp of the historical and blending fact with fiction is terrific. I thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in this series. The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. Lucy and Charlotte were terrific characters and both of them return to this story. I never liked Sarah in the other books. Seriously, she had no redeeming qualities and I was concerned about her being the center of this book. Her resolve to better herself is noble and her ability to create beauty from cast offs was admirable. Her pretenses and lies however, weren't.
And while Sarah still isn't my favorite, she did redeem herself to a point and I appreciated that she grew up and recognized what was good and right in her life.
For me, it was the supporting characters that made this book enjoyable. Lillie was fantastic. I'd love to see her story. And I loved getting to know Simon better. Not my favorite of the series, but still a heartwarming story.
Thanks to Lanette at Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Olivia Newport here. You can purchase your own copy here.
* * *