The Invention of Sarah Cummings

Title:  The Invention of Sarah Cummings (Avenue of Dreams #3)
Author:  Olivia Newport
Pages:  289
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Revell
This story is set in Chicago on Prairie Avenue, one of Chicago’s wealthiest areas.  The main character is Sarah Cummings and she has appeared in another book in this series.  Now, she takes center stage.  Sarah’s parents were both killed in an accident that sent her to St. Andrew’s Orphanage at the age of 11.  Since she didn’t apply herself to her schoolwork, she was put to work as a servant in the Banning household at the age of 16.  Now, three years later, she is still a maid in service.  She has always envisioned her life as something much different than what it really is.  She was not destined to be a servant.  Her life was supposed to be different, better.  She has a talent for sewing and remakes her employer’s cast-off dresses into new and marvelous creations.  A chance meeting with a young, wealthy socialite catapults Sarah into the world of the rich and famous.  Sarah has created a double life for herself.  When she is in society, she is known as Serena Cuthbert.  Serena Cuthbert has parents traveling in Europe, leaving Serena alone in Chicago with great independence.  Serena is introduced to Bradley Townsend, a rich business man with political interests.  Serena sets her cap for Brad with intentions of marrying him.  Sarah thinks a rich husband will take her from her life of drudgery.
At the encouragement of Mrs. Banning’s daughter, Lucy, Sarah volunteers time at the orphanage where she resided teaching the older girls how to sew.  Simon Tewell, the director of the orphanage, is thrilled to see Sarah again and quickly becomes enamored of her.  He wants Sarah as his wife, but knows he has nothing to offer her that she would accept.  He knows she wants more wealth and standing than he has to offer.  Simon sees more to Sarah than just her job.  Brad doesn’t want to bother a woman with talk of business and politics.  How long will Sarah be able to keep up her façade as Serena?  Can she finagle Brad into marriage and then tell him the truth?  Does Brad have a different plan in mind?
Sarah spends most of the book trying to be someone she is not and justifying her actions to attain her dream.  She finally realizes she is looking for validation and love, but in the wrong way and with the wrong person.  I think every reader can identify with wanting to be something we aren’t at one time or another.  Our value isn’t in our job or money or success.  There is also a lesson in charity, giving and serving wholeheartedly.  This was a pleasant way to spend an afternoon, and the story had some good reminders about God’s love being most important and how He sees our thoughts and actions.
My rating is 3 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 .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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