The Pursuit of Lucy Banning
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 the classes she is secretly taking at the newly opened University of Chicago. When she meets 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?
Readers will love being swept away into a world of mansions, secrets, and romance as they follow Lucy through the streets of the Windy City during one of the most exciting times in the city's history. From opulent upper-class homes to the well-worn rooms of an orphanage, Olivia Newport breathes life and romance into the pages of history--and everyone is invited.
So I fully admit that I've been wanting to read this book for forever- because it has such an absolutely gorgeous cover. I mean really, girls: look at that dress!
However, I have to admit this story didn't end up being a favorite, despite the promising cover. The writing itself was passable and about the quality you'll find in most Christian fiction (depending on your point of view, this is either a good or a bad thing) However, Lucy's deceptive actions -those stemming from her own personal desires, anyway- kept me from really respecting her character. It also struck me as odd that at one particular point, Lucy was sitting in church thinking of how hypocritical so many of the church members were as they listened to the day's sermon while going about, not caring for the poor- when she was being just as hypocritical by talking the talk but then sneaking around and lying- how was what she doing any better? Even though the truth did eventually come out, she didn't seem to have a whole lot of remorse for lying, because it was lost in in the "virtue" of being progressive and attending college classes. That really, really annoyed me.
I wasn't sure what I thought of the whole Daniel storyline. I admit it got better at the end, but there was still something slightly off-putting about it to me- as if the author was trying to make him seem as bad as possible so Lucy was more justified in breaking off their engagement, even though he didn't start going downhill until after she jilted him. Still, this probably won't bother a lot of readers. Personally, the character I found the most interesting was the maid Charlotte- and on second thought, I'll add Lucy's brother Leo to that list. He just seemed like a really nice guy.
So overall, I didn't really find The Pursuit of Lucy Banning overly impressive. If you like Christian Historical fiction, you'll still probably want to try this one, as it has got a lot more favorable reviews than I've given here. But due to my personal preference (and convictions, for that matter) this one didn't make me "keeper" list.
Rating: 6 out of 10 stars