I have enjoyed watching Downton Abbey on PBS. It has become so popular! It seems as if historical fiction with similar themes has risen in popularity alongside this show.
One such book with a similar theme is Olivia Newport's novel The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow. This novel tells the story of Charlotte, a young woman who's son has been in the care of another woman while she was a housemaid in a large home. I assume that it is because the help lives in the home that children are not allowed. The woman who has been caring for her son has to leave and can't care for him any longer. Charlotte is at a loss as to what to do. Her employer, Lucy, was on her side, but she is away on her extended honeymoon. The story follows the events of what happen as Charlotte struggles with her love for her son and fear of her supposed husband who she ran away from.
Plot: The plot has plenty of twists and turns. It also has a happy ending.
Characters: Similar to the friendship of Mary and Anna on Downton Abbey, Charlotte is at a loss without her ally and friend, Lucy. This friendship is the key to the resolution of the story. I think because the story is so similar in many ways to Downton Abbey, it was hard for me to transplant the whole scene to Chicago. It was as if many bits and pieces were taken from that story, put into a different combination.
Writing: I had a difficult time getting into this story. Since I read so many books, I know that I love a book if I can't but be compelled to read every word and every page. I just didn't find that with this book. I skipped around because the story felt like it moved very slowly. It's not a bad book, though. It's a perfectly fine Christian fiction book. It just didn't stand out for me.
If you're looking for light Christian historical fiction along the lines of Downton Abbey, but set in America, you'll likely enjoy this story. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from Revell Publishing.