Skip to main content

The Invention of Sarah Cummings

The Invention of Sarah Cummings is the third novel in Olivia Newport’s Christian historical fiction series Avenue of Dreams.

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning and The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow are the first two books, and I definitely recommend reading them in order to maximize the storytelling experience, not to mention avoid some plot spoilers!

You can click on the titles to see my reviews.

If you’re up-to-date with this series, you should be aware of Sarah Cummings character. She takes the spotlight in this book. Here’s a little synopsis:

It’s the turn of the century in Chicago, and a life of a maid – of an orphan – is not what Sarah was meant to have. She feels this through and through, every day that she mops a floor or serves a supper.

With her amazing sewing skills she has managed to take her wealthy Banning employers castoff gowns and make them into fashionable garments. It’s when she’s wearing one of her creations that she meets newcomer Lillie Wagner.

Lillie takes Sarah as an equal and speaks to her as such, confessing her desire to have a friend in this strange city. Unable to refuse an opportunity for better things, Sarah creates a new identity: Serena Cuthbert, affluent, independent lady traveler.

While she begins to sample the better life, carving out time to get away from her duties to join new friends, Sarah also has new burdens at the orphanage with the new director Simon Tewell. He wants her to help the young girls learn sewing skills.

It’s not long before keeping up with two polar opposite lives becomes difficult – and Sarah realizes one will have to unravel…

Olivia Newport really swept me away to this other time period with the two prior books, and she did that again here with The Invention of Sarah Cummings.

Yet, what I had a more difficult time with this go ‘round was the character.

Sarah is the least sympathetic and likable main characters of the novels. Her personality tends to be arrogant, ungrateful and resentful. Plus, the plot itself gave me a hard time as it appeared to lean more towards cliché regarding pretending-to-be-rich.

However, Olivia Newport’s strong writing persevered and as resistant as I was to like Sarah, with steady patience The Invention of Sarah Cummings finally paid off.

In my opinion, the novel really improved when everything began to blow up in Sarah’s face. How it all comes about, or what occurs, I will not say – but things start to not be so easy for Sarah, and it definitely helps the book begin to humble her.

Then there’s a horrifying, emotional climax that won back my affections fully. It ends up being very, very touching – this eventual turnaround.

So, by the end, The Invention of Sarah Cummings was quite gripping and effective – it just took a lot longer to feel that way than the prior two novels.

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

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

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Real Live Boyfriends

Real Live Boyfriends is a YA contemporary novel by E. Lockhart, and the fourth novel in the Ruby Oliver quartet.

Here we are on the last day of “Ruby Oliver Week” and if you aren’t already reading these books – well, why not?

But I’m more than sure most of you are – and hopefully you’re all caught up, and therefore not at risk of being spoiled by my review of Real Live Boyfriends. You’ve been warned!

Ruby Oliver is beginning her senior year of high school with a real live boyfriend: Noel.

At least she thought she was.

After having spent the rest of junior year and the beginning of summer being fully in love (okay, they never actually said the word, but the vibes were strongly in that direction), Ruby is now confused.

Again.

When Noel went to visit his brother in New York for a while, almost every day they talked on the phone and exchanged funny emails. She never once felt insecure.

Until all of a sudden – communication stopped. Ruby would call and he wouldn’t answer. She’d leave a voice mai…

Interview with Joanna Philbin!

Today we have an extra special guest! Joanna Philbin, author of The Daughters series, is here to tell us about the fourth and (*sniff*) final book in the series - The Daughters Join the Party - as well as answer some other questions!

Welcome to the Bibliophile Support Group, Joanna! We're happy to have you!

So, for anybody who hasn't read the first three books in The Daughters series (read my reviews here: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, The Daughters Take the Stage) can you give everybody a general idea of what they're about?

Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are best friends who are normal fourteen year-old girls in almost every way. Except for one: each girl has a parent who is incredibly famous. And her parent’s fame complicates her life in a big way. Lizzie’s mom is a supermodel, but Lizzie isn’t what most people would call “beautiful” – in fact, she’s what most people might call “unusual-looking.” How do you deal with having a supermodel mother when you don’t …

#YAStandsFor Daily Social Challenge... Day 5!

In my final day of participating in the I Read YA Week celebration (you can keep partying, it goes on through Monday!), I found myself presented with a new challenge of: Create a graphic showcasing an inspirational YA quote.

I'm not super tech savvy and I've never created a graphic before. But with just a little Google searching and a download of an app, I was able to create this:


Thanks for joining me this week! I hope you all enjoyed it! Please follow or subscribe for notifications of new posts and reviews upcoming on the Bibliophile Support Group!

#YAStandsFor
@IReadYA