Pursuit of Lucy Banning, The (Avenue of Dreams Book #1): A Novel [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Pursuit of Lucy Banning, The (Avenue of Dreams Book #1): A Novel

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Overview

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441237545
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2012
  • Series: Avenue of Dreams , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 26,998
  • File size: 2 MB

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.
Olivia Newport is the author of The Pursuit of Lucy Banning. Her husband and two adult 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 daylilies grow as tall as she is.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2012

    I always get hooked on books like this. Once I start reading, I

    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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Woman With A Mind Of Her Own

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    THE PURSUIT OF LUCY BANNING by Olivia Newport is an exciting ins

    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

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Okay, all together now; let's sing: ¿ I Love Lucy ¿. The title c

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2014

    Highly Recommend. So good, it's worth reading over & over again.

    So good, it's worth reading over & over again. Clean; tension, romantic & otherwise; every character redeemable even though flawed; wondrous backdrop of actual historical people & events seamlessly woven throughout story. Amazing; refreshing; immensely satisfying "come back to often" book. YES!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    This is an exceptional book of Chicago's history mixed with hist

    This is an exceptional book of Chicago's history mixed with historical fiction and they blend smoothly!
    The characters are fascinating, the writing terrific and the stories hold your interest - so much so that I wish there was more!  Lucy deserves another
    book and I know that Charlotte got her own book.  The whole family is interesting but set amidst real families and real streets and locations in Chicago
    is brilliant- knowing Chicago, I felt sometimes like I was just nearby.  An easy read and delightful all the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    Great

    Just loved this book. My first read of this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Lucy Banning is a young woman pursuing a future that is totally

    Lucy Banning is a young woman pursuing a future that is totally different from that which has been planned for her. She is expected to marry a man she has known her whole life but in her heart she is not certain that this is what she wants. Lucy's days are devoted to volunteering at an orphanage and secretely taking college classes. Only her aunt knows of and supports her longing for an education. Her life is further complicated when a young servant, Charlotte, comes to work in the Banning household. This maid has a huge secret that only Lucy knows - a baby that is hidden from sight. Lucy makes it her duty to help this poor young girl keep her job and find proper care for the child. (Hope to hear more about Charlotte in the next book!)

    Lucy meets a young architect and as if life weren't complicated enough she finds herself thinking about him quite a lot comparing him with the man to whom she is engaged. This does not deter her from following her dream of an education nor does it prevent her from continuing her work at the orphanage. Lucy is truly a woman of strong mind, courageous spirit and compassionate heart. The entire story is brought to life by the historical setting. The reader is immediately captivated not only by the characters but by the period. Olivia Newport transports us to a time when women and Chicago are just beginning to come into their own. She masterfully combines romance and mystery, with great insight into this era. I felt as if I were walking down the streets of Chicago and at the opening events of the Worlds Fair...the excitement of this historic event just jumped off the pages. Can't wait to see what she has in store for us next.

    I could not put this book down. Loved it so much I am now listening to the CD edition. Hats off to Olivia Newport!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Just okay...not much else!

    This was an okay read, I had a difficult time staying to the book to finish it ( I hate to read half of any book) There were a few times the author had me totally interested. I have read quite a bit but until this book , I had never read of anyone having to " board " a baby.. I was left questioning if this was something that happened during this time period. The book was basically based on a young lady born into a privilaged life .. but chose to live outside the principles that society had set for the young ladys in her class.

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A Lovely Look at the Gilded Age

    Rich in historical detail, The Pursuit of Lucy Banning transported me to 1893 Chicago, a city eager for the opening of the World’s Fair. Olivia Newport paints a captivating picture of the affluent neighborhood of Prairie Avenue, where a host of successful entrepreneurs such as George Pullman, Phillip Armour, and Marshall Field lived, evidence of her extensive research. I felt like I was there. Lucy is a bright, determined woman battling the rigid strictures and expectations faced by a woman in the late Victorian era. While I admired her desire to better herself, her secretive pursuit of a college education forced her to make choices that led to some expected friction between her and her family and fiance, Daniel Jules, a man chosen for her by her parents years before. Enter handsome, hardworking architect Will Edwards, a young man of questionable background who lacks the qualifications to be admitted to Chicago’s high society. Can Lucy follow her heart, or is she bound to comply with her parents’ wishes? Can Will discover the culprit behind some mysterious acts that put Lucy in danger, or are his chances at making a name for himself and surmounting the challenges keeping them apart over before he’s scarcely begun? The Banning family’s new maid, Charlotte Farrow, leaps from the pages and endeared herself to me from the outset. She’s such a compelling and well-developed character that her story within the story adds a rich dimension. The Pursuit of Lucy Banning begins as a leisurely stroll with likable characters, but it’s in the second half of the book that the pace picks up nicely. While I enjoyed Charlotte immensely, I’m such a romantic that I wished I’d have been able to spend more time with Lucy and Will, watching their relationship unfold. I would have liked getting to know Will better, since he’s such a likable hero. I trust he and Lucy will make cameo appearances when readers revisit Chicago in the second book of Newport’s Avenue of Dreams, The Dilemma of Charlotte Farrow, and look forward to reading that story.

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  • Posted May 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is the debut novel from author, Oliv

    The Pursuit of Lucy Banning is the debut novel from author, Olivia Newport. It is the first book in the Avenue of Dreams series set during the 1890's in Chicago. Newport's knowledge of the times and customs during this time period is remarkable. Her characters are multi-faceted and very well written. Christian fiction readers may have mixed reactions to the book, but historical fiction readers will find it accurate and believable.

    Olivia Newport takes readers back to 1890's Chicago at the dawning of the World's Fair. One of the things that I liked most about this book was the historical references and knowledge of the times and customs. Newport sprinkles the history throughout the book and keeps readers continually interested. Readers who are actually from Chicago will really enjoy the historical detail, from the descriptions of the town itself to the differences in the political climate. The stark class divisions from those living on Prairie Avenue to the orphanages are clearly drawn and very well written. There was very little information about the World's Fair itself, but that was clearly not the focal point of this novel.


    I really enjoyed Lucy as a character. Not only is she strong and determined but she has a heart for the people. She comes from an influential, wealthy family, yet she takes time to work with Chicago's orphans and provide advice for a young maid in her household, who has secrets of her own. I thought Lucy was resourceful and mannerly, but she did engage in quite a bit of deceitfulness, which will no doubt cause some Christian readers a few moments of pause. Lucy is supposed to be a virtuous Christian woman, yet she continually keeps things from those around her. Personally, I didn't think there was too much controversy here, but I'm sure there will be those who will find fault. Luckily, there are very few instances of this and it shouldn't be a big issue.


    Charlotte is probably one of my favorite characters in the book. As Lucy's maid she is in another class and therefore unable to really associate with Lucy. But Lucy isn't your typical socialite. She understands that Charlotte is in need of her help and it doesn't bother Lucy that Charlotte doesn't have money or clout. Lucy's family in general including the butler were wonderful secondary characters. Aunt Violet in particular was interesting and full of surprises. The plot itself was unpredictable and very entertaining.


    Newport takes a great deal of time to develop the story and introduce the characters, yet the plot of the book itself doesn't suffer from this. It is very well written and readers of both Christian and historical fiction will love this one. There a great deal of wonderful historical information here and I think readers will really be interested in it. Give this one a chance, it's a great book and the beginning of a very promising series.

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  • Posted May 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Contrast of Two Worlds There was plenty about this novel that m

    Contrast of Two Worlds

    There was plenty about this novel that makes it five stars. For the romantic, Lucy Banning’s compassion and bravery was worthy of her hero’s love and pursuit. I quickly settled in with Lucy’s family members and was always glad when spunky Aunt Violet stopped in for dinner. I tried to imagine what it would have been like to be in maid Charlotte’s shoes. Given the circumstances, even Butler Penard wove his way into my heart.

    But what kept me riveted, was Newport’s contrast of two worlds—the affluent who lived on Chicago’s Prairie Avenue and its servant class—in the telling of two unique stories within one novel. The strong plot, pleasantly fresh and equally compelling, cut a natural course teeming with historical and period details. The reading journey was fun and anything but predictable.

    Both informative and entertaining – it was everything I look for in a memorable historical novel. Its conclusion held many takeaways, but Lucy’s antagonist gave me the most to ponder.

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    Posted June 1, 2014

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    Posted August 24, 2012

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    Posted December 4, 2012

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    Posted September 14, 2012

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    Posted November 15, 2013

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    Posted May 3, 2014

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