Monday, May 14, 2012

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning

Olivia Newport’s most recent book, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning, is the first in the Avenue of Dreams series. Lucy Banning is lucky enough to live on Prairie Avenue in Chicago, where some of the most wealthy families from Chicago have their homes. Lucy is engaged to be married to banker Daniel, whom she has known her whole life. Having grown up together, their families had their engagement planned before they were even old enough to understand what spending their lives together would mean. After taking a course at college and volunteering at a local orphanage, Lucy decides she wants more than a marriage to Daniel, who she does not really love. With the entrance of her brother’s friend Will, even more complications arise. As Lucy’s life becomes more complicated, and she must hide some very serious secrets, Daniel’s life also changes from what he expected. With these changes come some very strange circumstances, and Lucy finds herself questioning who Daniel really is. Set amid the backdrop of the World’s Fair, this book was not at all what I expected. Lucy and Daniel’s relationship was more than just a typical love triangle, as Daniel truly meant something to Lucy and her family. I found myself not believing that he could do anything to hurt Lucy, and the end of the book helped clear up the reasons he acted in the behavior he did. I really liked the characters of both Lucy and Will. Although Lucy was keeping secrets from her new friend, he never once pressured her to reveal what she was hiding. This was especially interesting for the story as women during that time were not given much ability to keep their lives to themselves. I did not find myself particularly liking Lucy’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Banning. Although they were supposed to be caring parents, they seemed to be more worried about how others viewed them than how they should treat one another. Mrs. Banning was always criticizing the clothing choices of her daughter, and she was not at all understanding of her desires to attend college. Although there were some characters I didn’t care for, the characters of Lucy, Will, Leo (Lucy’s brother), and Charlotte (Lucy’s maid) helped me become invested in the book and its’ cast of characters. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next in the series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Revell Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising." “Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

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