About the book: 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 hope 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?
My review: This book is amazing! I loved the way that both Fanny's and Henry's characters jumped off the page, becoming more real to me than they ever were before. These characters were really well-written, making me forget over and over that it's not a fictional tale, these things really did happen to the real people.
There were some parts of the book that I really didn't like Fanny, she thought things that seemed to be prideful and even rude. But then I remembered again, that these were real people and the way things would have been perceived by others of Fanny's class, and that helped me to understand why she would have thought those things.
I loved the way that Fanny's step-mother is portrayed, as a loving mother, even to Fanny who would have been in her 20's when her step-mother and father married. I love that she had enough influence on Fanny in the story to help change the way she thought and be able to move on from where she was.
The plot of this one is pretty neat because it's a true story, but obviously, Josi Kilpack had to write her own take on what would have happened to the two because not everything would have been documented. I loved reading the end notes about the book almost as much as the book itself. The whole thing was just fascinating!
This is an amazing book that I didn't want to put down. It's clean, compelling and sweet! Such a great book by an amazing author!
I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
About the author: Josi S. Kilpack published her first novel in 2000. Her seventh novel, Sheep's Clothing, won the 2007 Whitney Award for Mystery/Suspense—several others have been finalists in subsequent years. She was also the Best of State winner for fiction in Utah 2012. She has written twenty-two novels, including the twelve-volume Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. Josi currently lives in Willard, Utah. For more information about Josi, you can visit her website at www.josiskilpack.com.
Labels: Josi S Kilpack, Proper Romance, Shadow Mountain Publishing