mary's book basket ~ the pursuit of lucy banning by olivia newport

Inspirational author Olivia Newport delivers a wonderful read in her novel "The Pursuit of Lucy Banning." We follow Miss Lucy as she navigates Chicago high society with it's privileged landscape and social constraints, as the city prepares for the 1863 World's Fair. With a heart for service but feeling the pressure of her wealthy family's expectations, Lucy must decide what she is willing to give up for the path she feels she must pursue.

Product Description:

She has a secret to keep. But will she give her heart away?

Lucy Banning may live on the exclusive Prairie Avenue among Chicago's rich and famous, but her heart lies elsewhere. Expected to marry an up-and-coming banker from a respected family, Lucy fears she will be forced to abandon her charity work and squeeze herself into the mold of the well-dressed wife who spends most of her time and money redecorating. 

When she meets Will, an unconventional young architect who is working on plans for the upcoming 1893 World's Fair, Lucy imagines a life lived on her own terms. Can she break away from her family's expectations? And will she ever be loved for who she truly is?

Get swept away into the lavish world of Chicago's high society as Olivia Newport brings to life an age of glitz and grandeur, stark social contrasts, and one woman who dares to cross class lines for what she believes.

I really enjoyed this novel. It was a quick read that draws you in with a little intrigue and a main character that truly cares for others. Lucy goes against the convention of the times with her greatest desire to serve the less fortunate. Her parents expect a young lady of her "stature" to marry and carry on the family legacy of wealth and privelage. Her heart desires more. When Will Edwards enters the picture she begins to think of a different future.

The one thing that I felt was a bit contrived was the antagonists fall from grace. Daniel Jules, family friend and fiance for a time, shows his true colors early on but the twist the author introduces at the end seems a bit forced. This did not take away form my reading experience but it was a definite weak spot.

Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.