This book was so much fun! An entirely different view of the 1893 Chicago Fair than several that I have recently read, Shadows of the White City by Jocelyn Green and The White City by Grace Hitchcock. But I expected characters from those books to bump into Violet!
Violet is a true romantic with wild scenarios scrambling in her head. “ My imagination is a gift, but I had to live in the real world.” She does learn to grow up. “ Everything would change. That was the lesson I had learned this summer. Life was all about change.”
Her life is a study in contrasts: What she has been told her life should look like and new possibilities that present themselves when she visits her grandmother and three aunts in Chicago. Her grandmother the widow of a minister, one aunt is an avowed Suffragette, another a rich society wife and my favorite, Aunt Birdie who lost her husband in the Civil War. Although her mind tells her he is still fighting that war, she gives wisdom to Violet. She urges her to seek love in a marriage partner. Thus Violet is faced with conflicting opinions on which of four suitors she should accept.
Her grandmother’s advice: “Don’t make choices in life to please somebody else. The only One you ever need to please is God.”
One of the funniest quotes is about the symptoms of wearing a corset: “ heart palpitations, difficulty breathing and light headed-ness. The symptoms sounded suspiciously like a romance novels description of love. Could it be that thousands of women had married their husbands in the mistaken belief that they were in love, when all along their corsets had been too tight? How disappointing to watch their love mysteriously vanish once their corsets were unlaced.”
Lynn Austin is fast becoming my go-to author for a lighthearted story with real substance and life and spiritual lessons.
*I borrowed this ebook from Prime Reading. All opinions are my own.* (2007 book) 5 hilarious stars and a strong faith thread.
It seems a perfect backdrop for what Violet Hayes longs to experience: a little mystery, a little romance. To be honest, it is more than a little mystery. She schemed her way to Chicago to discover the mother she barely remembered. As for romance well, with the help of her grandmother and three great aunts, that is coming along nicely as well perhaps too well. Each of her relatives including her saintly grandmother seems to have a separate agenda for her. In the course of a summer, Violet's world will open wide before her eyes. But in the wake of discovery, she must find a way to determine which path and which man will ultimately be the right lifetime choice for her.