Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow
Olivia Newport
Revell Publishing
Romance, Fiction, Historical
Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Charlotte Farrow, 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? 

This compelling story set against the glittering backdrop of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition captures the tension between the wealthy class and the hardworking servants who made their lives comfortable. Author Olivia Newport expertly portays social classes while creating a story of courage, strength, and tender romance.

If you are a fan of Downton Abbey you will enjoy this book. There is most definitely an upstairs and a downstairs situation going on. I so wanted this book to be gripping and amazing and left me disappointed, it could have been so much more. Charlotte's dilemma was, frankly, absolutely ridiculous. Hiding her baby is astounding to me. I could think of 100 different scenarios that would have worked better. Perhaps this scenario could have been more believable if the underlying story had been better developed. I never quite understood why Charlotte felt the need to hide her baby. The fear that she lived with throughout the book became simply annoying after too long. With all of that said I somehow still finished the book and didn't hate it. Newport weaves a clever tale but clever without framework can leave the reader frustrated. I dare say I may even read another Newport book in hopes that the two may come together and create something truly special. 

My thanks to Revell Publishing for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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