It's 1836, and nineteen-year-old Fanny Appleton, a privileged daughter of a wealthy, upper-class Boston industrialist, is touring Europe with her family. Like many girls of her day, she enjoys the fine clothes, food, and company of the elite social circles. But unlike her peers, Fanny is also drawn to education, literature, and more intellectual pursuits.
Published author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is also touring Europe, but under much different circumstances. Recently widowed, he is gathering research for a new publication that he hopes will secure his professorship at Harvard College.
Befriended by the Appleton family while visiting Switzerland, Henry is introduced to Fanny and sees in her a kindred spirit, a lover of language and literature and high ideals. He is in love. Fanny, however, is uncertain. He is from a much lower social class and is older than she is. How could such a relationship ever thrive?
Could a book of Henry's poetry, personally delivered, persuade Fanny to believe in a love that lasts forever and forever?
About the Author
Josi Kilpack is the award-winning author of the Culinary Mystery series, and wrote two critically-acclaimed novels in A Proper Romance series: A Heart Revealed and Lord Fenton's Folly. She lives with her family in the Southwest.
Read an Excerpt
She met Mr. Longfellow's eyes from across the long table. She noted again that he was a handsome man, yet now she could see the pain in his eyes and the shadows beneath them. For a moment she wanted to know the cause of his pain-and then she stopped.
Her inability to bear her own misery had driven her to seek out dancing and music in which to pass the time. She could forget the troubles that nipped at her when the energy was high. Evenings like this, calm and conversational, were not nearly as distracting. But that was not Mr. Longfellow's fault, and she hated to know that she'd added to the difficulty he'd already experienced on this trip. Should she not be lifting the burdens of the people she met rather than adding to them?
"I am sorry, Mr. Longfellow, for pressing you, and for the difficulties you have faced. I was out of place to be so direct, and I pray your forgiveness." She meant every word and hoped he would know it.
"You owe me no apology, Miss Frances." For a moment the softness of his words held her like a cord, and she found she could not take her gaze from his. In some way she could not understand, she felt . . . seen as she had never been seen before.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Fanny Appleton is a lady of privilege. At nineteen years old, she is touring Europe when she meets Henry Longfellow, a recently widowed poet and author. He is drawn to Fanny. While she likes dancing and the social life her father’s accomplishments provides, she also enjoys language and the written word. Henry is quick to fall in love, but Fanny remains distant. He is ten years older than she is, and from a lower social class. Despite her worries, Henry remains hopeful she will be his. But how long can that hope survive? I’m kind of middle of the road with this one. I enjoyed reading it, and wanted to know what would happen between Henry and Fanny, but I often found it slow. The novel is based on the real romance between poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Frances Appleton, so the time spanning the novel was necessary to stick to the timeline, but I sometimes felt it could have been just a bit shorter. Other than that, the novel is enjoyable, and an interesting read. As part of the Proper Romance series, this is a clean, faith-filled story.
FOREVER AND FOREVER was historically rich, bittersweet, and deeply romantic. Enjoyable from beginning to end with relateable characters, realistic and heartfelt experiences, and fantastic writing. A truly superb read! To be highly recommended to book clubs, general women's fiction, romance, and inspirational romance readers. This story was just so good. I don't know that I can really give it credit. I will say that it will make my top reads for 2016, if not the top read. I loved the historical context and that it was based on a true love story. I loved how well the author mixed fiction with fact. What an undertaking as an author to take on this historical story and she did it so marvelously well! This story made me laugh, cry, and swoon. I loved the chapter notes at the end, which brought a few more tears. It wasn't your usual romance. It wasn't light and flirty with some trivial thing or two that stands in the way of love. It had much more depth than that. It read more like women's fiction and an introspective read as six years or so of these two characters' lives are told. Plus there was the addition of complex family relationships and loss. It was poignant and heartfelt. It also gave a realistic view on the period, on medical and intellectual challenges, and on society and its classes or expectations. It would make for a good discussion on several points. A meaningful, beautiful, and heartfelt read. Content: Clean Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.
Although I've studied his works, I never learned much about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's background--his hopes, dreams, and loves that place his writing in context. I loved getting to know these things about him. I especially connected with the reviews and reactions to his writing in his time. At times, I wished there had been more of the book from his perspective because I wanted to know a little more why he was so compelled to love a woman who was, at times, hard to like. Curious why Kilpack wrote Fanny the way she did, I read the notes in the back of the book and did some internet research and found that, while not always a sympathetic character, Kilpack seems to have portrayed Fanny honestly. Despite this, there were times that I liked Fanny, so ultimately I longed for them to be together. In the end, it was worth it, seeing the change in Fanny, though I wished I could have seen more of the tenderness between the two of them at the end of the book--maybe drawing out the last few scenes a little for this reader's satisfaction. Perhaps some of the family's reaction to their change in relationship might have been nice as well, and I couldn't help but want to know if she ever learned German. I had not known about this couple's courtship and very much enjoyed learning about them--bringing them to life. I hope there are more books based on historical figures to come! *I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.
We LOVE Proper Romances in this house. When the opportunity came up to review the new ones coming up this year I jumped at it. These books just make me happy.....Well, in this case a little frustrating ;). This was such a beautiful book. The writing is lovely, and Kilpack put me right into the book. The settings are amazing, and I felt like I got to know the characters on a personal level. The story of Henry and Fanny's courtships spans over 7 years. Yes, seven, frustrating years ;). I loved Henry from the moment he entered the story. He is kind, passionate about his work, and so very sweet. He was morning the loss of his wife while they were on holiday promoting his book. He meets the Appleton's and let's just say the rest is history. Just a loooong history ;). I have to admit this story frustrated the heck out of me at times. I couldn't help but think of Fanny as a spoiled, rich, brat. She made me so angry sometimes. She had such a kind, loving, heart, that her reactions to some people just made me want to slap her...hehe Henry on the other hand frustrated me in other ways. I loved him, but his pining made me want to slap him as well. I love it when an author provokes such emotions in me. It makes the book that much more wonderful. If you like love stories, then you will enjoy this one. All the Proper Romances are great! This is such a great addition to the series.... The time line at the end of the book is fantastic as well! All in all this story was beyond fantastic! Pick it up, you won't regret it!!