Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow (Avenue of Dreams #2)



Title:  The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow (Avenue of Dreams #2)
Author:  Olivia Newport
Pages:  316
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
                This is just a lovely story about the love of a mother for her son and the lengths she will go to in order to do what is best for him.  Set against the backdrop of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, Charlotte Farrow serves as a maid in the Banning household on the wealthy Prairie Avenue.  Archie Shepard serves as coachman for the Bannings.
                Charlotte has been working for the Bannings for a year, but she has served as their daughter, Lucy’s, personal maid up until her marriage a few months ago.  Now she works in the kitchen mostly.  She has a secret that only Lucy knows about, but now that Lucy is away on an extended honeymoon she won’t be able to help Charlotte when the circumstances of her “secret” change.   She unexpectedly finds herself in the position of having her son dropped off by his caregiver, stating she can no longer care for him.  What is Charlotte to do?  Maids can’t have babies in the house; they’re not even allowed to be married!  She has no one else she can turn to for help.  One year ago, soon after giving birth, she left her alleged husband to start a new life.  She told no one where she was going.  When she came to Chicago, she told no one of her past with the exception of Lucy Banning, who only knows about the baby.  Will she be forced to give the baby to the orphanage?
                Archie has had his eye on Charlotte over the last year and has made his interest in her known, but she has not responded.  He wonders why.  He continues to pursue her and she continues to rebuff him.  Archie wants more out of life than being a servant.  He wants a job where he is paid what he is worth.  He wants Charlotte to be happy and married to him and not a servant anymore.  Finally, Charlotte tells Archie her secret after spotting the father of her child on an outing to the Exposition.  Charlotte is desperate to protect her child from his father.  Archie urges her to tell the Bannings of her predicament, but Charlotte is afraid she will be fired and then unable to care or support her baby.  She keeps silent, but comes up with a plan to keep Henry safe.  Can she make the sacrifice that will save him?  Archie asks her not to do anything drastic, but to trust him, the Bannings, and God.  Charlotte’s grandmother had loved her and taught her about God as a girl, but she has not trusted Him in her older years.  Can she ever do so?
                My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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