Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Invention of Sarah Cummings - Avenue of Dreams 3 - by Olivia Newport

Cover Art This is an engrossing story about Sarah Cummings, a parlor maid to the wealthy Banning family in Chicago.  After losing her parents when she was young, she lived in an orphanage until going to work at sixteen for the Bannings.  She dreams of the day when she'll no longer be a maid and can live the life she deserves, as part of high society.  She uses her talent for sewing to not only remake gowns for herself, but to start teaching a sewing class for the older girls at the orphanage.  She never wanted to go back there, but is pushed into it by the orphanage director, who not only wants to help the girls, but has a personal interest in Sarah, as well.  When she meets a new young woman to town, she introduces herself as Serena Cuthbert, a high society woman, and makes up a fake back story for her fake name.  She's finally able to move in the circles she's always wanted to and when she meets a wealthy young man who seems interested, she finally sees a way out.  Will she be able to juggle all of the lies, or will the truth finally come out?  Will she discover true love and contentment?

I have read book two in this series and remembered Sarah as selfish, which she still is for most of the book.  However, I feel as though I understand her better and can see why she did what she did.  I did have a hard time understanding why the director would like her when he didn't seem to see her good qualities very much, but I guess love is blind.  I kept wondering when she would get found out, so that lent some suspense to the story.  The day-to-day glimpse of what life would have been like for a maid in this time period and also some of what was happening politically and financially during that time gave a sense of reality to the story.  This series has a Downton Abbey feel to it, which I enjoyed.  Check it out if you like historical fiction! 

I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

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

You can connect with Olivia Newport on her website, facebook or twitter:

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