Twenty-one year old Lucy Banning’s life has been mapped out for her since she can remember. Especially when it comes to marrying Daniel, the son of lifelong family friends. Their engagement recently became official and Lucy is on her way to being everything her upper class parents want as the 1893 World’s Fair begins to draw near.
Only problem? Lucy isn’t so sure she’s content with the life laid at her feet. She has dreams that she knows her parents, good and kind people but set in their ways, wouldn’t understand. Neither would Daniel. That’s why she keeps the fact that she’s taking art classes at the local college a secret to all but her Aunt Violet, whom is helping to pay.
Then she meets Will, an up-and-coming architect of the working class. Lucy begins to wonder how life would be if she lived life on her own terms…
The main character in The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is scrumptiously feisty and ambitious and unacceptably betrothed to an unexciting, acceptable man that she’s been friends with all her life – but is not in love with. Within just the first pages I got a strong impression of her personality, very likable and softened by compassion, which adds a fun flavor to the high-society, late 19th century feel.
There’s actually a bit of an upstairs/downstairs tone as we also follow the new kitchen maid Charlotte, who is hiding a big secret of her own. In fact, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning has a Downton Abbey sense that would make this novel, I believe, a great recommendation for fans of that series.
I couldn’t help but love the polite conversation, at times laced with the gentlest of sarcasm, and the desire for more freedom brimming beneath the surface. Oh dear. This is a great historical romance!
Also, the author provides an excellent amount of dialogue to allow us to get to know the characters in a zippier fashion. I was absolutely delighted with the first third, and then all the crazy stuff started to happen – and I was still enchanted!
The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is a sincerely sweet, insightful, graceful story that is truly interesting, romantic, and transports you to the time period – everything you hope for in historical fiction. And because it is written with Christians in mind, it’s also appropriate for any age.
Happily, this is the first in a new series by the author called Avenue of Dreams. Sign me up for book two!
*Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
*I received a copy of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.