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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow...Review

About the book:
The whole world is coming to Chicago. Charlotte's whole world is coming down around her.

While the rest of Chicago focuses on the enormous spectacle of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, Charlotte Farrow's attentions are entirely on one small boy--her boy--whom she has kept a secret from her wealthy employers for nearly a year.

When the woman who has been caring for her son abruptly returns him to the opulent Banning home, 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 past and open her heart to a future of her own? Or will life's struggles determine her path?

This compelling story of courage, strength, and tender romance captures the tension between the glittering wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable.

I really liked Charlotte when I met her in The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and I was excited to see that she had her own story.  Charlotte wants nothing more than to be a good mother to her son, but life in service doesn't lend itself to motherhood.  When the woman who has been caring for Henry leaves him at the Banning home, Charlotte can't admit that he's hers and must let the household believe he's an abandoned baby.  A woman staying with the Banning family wants Henry for her own and when Charlotte's past interferes with her present, she believes that giving up Henry is the best thing.

Charlotte is strong, brave and spunky.  Her story isn't quite plausible, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  I like Charlotte and I loved Archie. I hated Sarah and I really hope that hers isn't the next story in the series because she has no redeeming qualities and I can't imagine ever liking her.

The historical setting is again terrific:  the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, Chicago's affluent Prairie Avenue and the disparity between the privileged and the working class.  Second in the Avenue of Dreams series, the book stands alone well but, as always, is richer if you've read the first one, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning.

Thanks to Donna Hausler from Baker Publishing for the opportunity to review this book. You can learn more about Olivia Newport here.You can purchase your own copy here.

Read 1/13

* * * *
4/5 Stars


  1. This does sound like it has a rich and complicated plot, and one that I would like very much. I am going to have to look into these books and see if I can grab them for myself. Excellent review today! I liked your insight on this one!

  2. Sounds an interesting story here.