The Pursuit of Lucy Banning: A Novel

The Pursuit of Lucy Banning: A Novel

3.9 83
by Olivia Newport

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Newport debuts with a historical romance set in 1893 Chicago as the World’s Fair opens. Socialite Lucy Banning, a member of the moneyed class, is engaged to marry a young banker she has known all her life. Lucy does charity work at an orphanage and also uses that as her cover for taking classes at the newly opened University of Chicago, which neither her fiancé nor family would regard as appropriate for a young woman. As she contemplates her future, Lucy meets an attractive architect and also takes an interest in an unhappy young servant in her household. Social constraint dictates one thing, but her heart another. Newport has done good history homework about the fair and turn-of-the-century Chicago; details ring true. She is less surefooted with characterization; Lucy’s slightly psychotic fiancé, Daniel, is somewhat off-key in a romance. Some Christians may be put off by the amount of deception churchgoing Lucy engages in. However, historical romance fans will appreciate a new voice and a new period backdrop for some wholesome romance. (May)

Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Avenue of Dreams Series, #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Olivia Newport's novels twist through time to discover where faith and passions meet. Her husband and two twenty-something children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where day lilies grow as tall as she is.

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The Pursuit of Lucy Banning: A Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 4 ratings. 83 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always get hooked on books like this. Once I start reading, I have a hard time putting it down. There were 3 main things I enjoyed about this book. * Sweet and clean romance...a must for a book to become a favorite. * It is full of Chicago history. If you've ever been to Chicago, you will be familiar with many places and even people mentioned. * The main character, Lucy Banning, is a strong woman who pursued her dreams while still caring for and loving her family around her. Great book! I can't wait for the next one in this series!
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
THE PURSUIT OF LUCY BANNING by Olivia Newport is an exciting inspirational historical romance set in 1892 Chicago. It is the first in the “The Avenue of Dreams” Series. What a wonderful story of love,romance,faith,high society of Chicago,the Gilded era,and the social contrasts and class lines of the era. Follow Lucy Banning and Will Edwards on their journey to the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Their family’s expectations,Chicago’s social scene,the social classes,their struggles to break free of society’s constraints. “The Pursuit of Lucy Banning” is a sweet love story,with vivid descriptions of the times,and characters who will capture your heart and sweep you away into Chicago’s 1890′s.This story will touch your heart, it is beautifully written. Anyone who enjoys historical romance, Chicago’s Gilded Age,and the glitz and grandeur of high society. A must read. Received for an honest review. Details can be found at Revell,a division of Baker Publishing Group,the author’s website,and My Book Addiction and More. *Available from Revell Books, May 2012* RATING:4.5 HEAT:Sweet: No sex or scenes of physical intimacy except some kissing. No graphic violence or profanity. REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
Lucy Banning has been born to a life of privilege, but has a heart for those that are less fortunate. She appears to have it all, when the story opens. She is taking college classes, behind everyone's back, and engaged to be married to her childhood friend Daniel. Daniel is also from "Money", and has a career as a promising Banker. She has two older brother's Oliver and Leo. When her brother Leo brings home his friend Will, Lucy is very interested. Even her mother notices, and admonishes her....after all she is an engaged woman. Lucy is also playing an active roll in the upcoming 1893 World's Fair. With this there are also strange things happening at the house. I read this in almost one setting...such a great quick read...and you won't know all the answers to almost the end. I received this book from the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
Smilingsally More than 1 year ago
Okay, all together now; let's sing: ¿ I Love Lucy ¿. The title character, Lucy Banning, is polite, intelligent, pretty, kind hearted, and mannerly. Why, she's close to perfect and therefore, lovable and deserving of our song. And that is the major flaw in this otherwise interesting historical work of fiction. The characters are rather flat. Nonetheless, the book is enjoyable. The setting of Chicago preparing for the World's Fair allows the reader to appreciate how different times were. Thank you to Donna Hausler at Baker Publishing for my copy. Available May 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Bonniebluemom More than 1 year ago
This is a book you don't want to put down and you hate when the story ends. I can't wait to read more stories by this author. I loved her accurate historical writing style and the fact that she never used vulgar language. Keep up the good work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story with romance suspence and lots of period detail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A lit of romance novels are set in England or the American west. It was nice to see Chicago in its infancy. The characters are well drawn out, and the story engrosses the reader. Lucy, Daniel, Will and Charlotte feel like real people. The only thing I didn't like, is Charlotte is left at loose ends. Yes, she may be a servant, but her story was being told alongside Lucy's, and only Lucy's got wrapped up. I hated to see Charlotte left in limbo. Otherwise, very enjoyable book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There are times the plot is predictible and times of suspence. It was a good read overall.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this book down. Looking for more books by Olivia Newport.
Anonymous 7 days ago
Anonymous 3 months ago
Good read, likeable characters!
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous 5 months ago
Shay14 6 months ago
Welcome to Chicago during one of its most exciting times in history! Olivia Newport transports you back to Chicago during the planning and revealing of the Worlds Fair. Her attention to detail really immersed me into the Bannings' lives. I could feel the excitement, tension, love, and happiness thrumming throughout the Banning household. The fact that they were a prominent family, but chose not to flaunt it overly much made them all the more likable. I instantly liked Lucy Banning. She truly was a kind-hearted soul who frequently went above and beyond the "expected" call of duty for those in her station. That, and her independent spirit, had me caught up in her life from beginning to end. The situation with Will intrigued me. I wish there would have been more interaction between him and the Banning family, and more from his point of view in the story. I don't feel I got to know him well. Charlotte Farrow's side story was compelling, to say the least, and I'm excited to read more of it next. I couldn't pick out a strong message or lesson, which was fine. The way Lucy lived her life is a shining example of how a Christian should be. Her gentleness with the kids at the orphanage, love for her family, and kind-hearted, giving spirit are great indicators of God's hand on her life. Overall, I enjoyed Lucy's story. I look forward to reading more from Olivia Newport.
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous 8 months ago
Captivating plot. Deep characters. Twists and turns were unpredictable and refreshing. Enjoyed every word! Loved the look into Chicago. Don't pass this one up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Really good! In fact it was excellent!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read.  I enjoyed the book very much.  Another new favorite author to add to my list.