Sunday, January 13, 2013

Book Review: The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow by Olivia Newport

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is the second novel in Olivia Newport’s “Avenue of Dream Series.” The book is a delightful read. It ties to the first book in the series, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, but is completely able to stand alone if you haven’t read the first.


With Lucy Banning married to Will Edwards and off to Europe on her honeymoon, Charlotte Farrow settles in for a summer of serving the Banning family. Charlotte’s secret has been well kept and her son, Henry, has been well cared for by Mrs. Given.

Just days before the Banning family is to return to Chicago from their lake house, Mrs. Given shows up unexpectedly at the mansion when a family emergency prevents her from continuing to care for the boy. Charlotte is desperate to find a solution since the knowledge that she has a child can cause her to lose her position. As the rest of Chicago is caught up in the glamour and excitement of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Charlotte searches for a way to care for Henry.

Olivia Newport weaves an intriguing tale of a mother’s love and devotion in this book. Her writing will transport the reader back to the 19th century. Her story comes alive with characters that are well developed and realistic.

Newport does a good job of defining the tension of the time between the staff and the wealthy families they served. She has done her homework, and it is evident as she skillfully melds history and fiction throughout her book. I found the details of the exposition and Mr. Ferris’s famous wheel added depth and entertainment to the story. The wheel itself acts as a nonhuman character that plays a role in the resolution of this story.

Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, Accidentally Amish, and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. She's been married for over thirty years and has two twenty-something kids. They live in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where the day lilies in her back yard grow as tall as she is.

Visit her website here.
This book was provided free of charge to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest thoughts and review of the book.