My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: Received from Publisher to Review
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Description: 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. Widowed while on tour, he has stayed in order to gather credentials that he hopes will secure his professorship at Harvard College. When Henry meets Fanny, he 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 ten years older than she is, and from a much lower social class. 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 thoughts: The courtship of Henry Longefellow and Fanny Appleton wasn't on my radar before this book. I wasn't even mildly curious. I wanted to read this book first, because it was written by Josi Kilpack, and second, because it is in the Proper Romance Line from Shadow Mountain. I know that I will have a quality reading experience because of the two things listed above.
The book in many ways seemed poetic to me. Maybe it was the subject matter, the setting, or the time period. I feel that Josi Kilpack captured the essence of the characters and time period. Her descriptions brought the book to life for me and I felt invested in the story and characters.
This is a slow moving romance. The book covers seven years of unrequited love. It illustrates how deeply Henry Longfellow felt about things that he was able to hold on for that long. I appreciated learning that he had progressive ideas about education and women. He was ahead of his time. I think he is a person in history that I would love to sit down with and talk about the world and his views. I hate to admit that I haven't read his books or poetry, they are now going on my list to read sometime in the future.
Fanny was also a passionate woman. She had deeply held beliefs and ideas. She was the perfect match for Henry, it just took her a LONG time to figure it out. Her journey kept me reading as she learned to trust her head and heart. The couple had many setbacks and heartbreaks to overcome as they grew into people who could appreciate each other.
This is an excellent book that is well written. I hope that there will be more books to this line that will connect me with places and people in time that I know little to nothing about. I am grateful for the research that made this historical fiction as authentic as possible. It was well worth the time reading.
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