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The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow is a historical fiction novel, the second in the Avenue of Dreams series, by Olivia Newport.

To read Charlotte’s story from the beginning, and not be spoiled as to what happens to Lucy, I strongly recommend that everyone read The Pursuit of Lucy Banning before this novel. Click on the title to read my review.

If you haven’t, there aren’t really spoilers in this review for Lucy at all – but I still believe you’ll get the full impact of Charlotte by reading them in order. Okay? :)

Chicago in 1893 is enamored with the World’s Colombian Exposition.

Charlotte Farrow, however, has her mind focused on one thing: the small boy that she has kept secret from her wealthy employers for almost a year. Her son.

Only visiting him twice a week on her moments of time off has been heart wrenching for Charlotte, and watching as another woman cares for him hurts. But it’s the only thing she can do to keep her job as a ladies/kitchen maid and try to save money. She would not be employed by the Bannings’ if her child was known of.

But when the woman caring for little Henry drops him off while Charlotte’s working and declares that because of an emergency she must leave – Charlotte finds herself having to face coming clean to the family about her son or watching as the Bannings’ decide her son’s fate…

Oh, wow, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow was even better than The Pursuit of Lucy Banning!

I said it last time and I’ll say it again – the Avenue of Dreams series is PERFECT for fans of Downton Abbey or just those that in general like the upstairs/downstairs dynamic of the turn of the century era. This time around we focus on the working class – and oh what a focus it is!

Olivia Newport has written a mature, in-depth, fascinating peek at the work of a ladies/kitchen maid in 1893. I felt like I was there – it felt so real.

My heart ached so much for Charlotte’s situation – and the circumstances that block her from her baby boy and possible love. I longed for resolution! Very effective, very emotional, very suspenseful and nerve-wracking. Multiple times I felt like crying! Felt as tense and worried as Charlotte!

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow was impressively believable and smoothly penned. It’s a beautiful, touching, painful, memorable novel that spotlights the strength of a woman, a mother, and God.

If you can’t already tell, I was wowed by Olivia Newport – and I can’t wait for book three! This is what I hope for in inspirational historical fiction/romance!!!

*Available January 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

*I received a copy of The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow from the Baker Publishing Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.

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