Love on a Dime
Cara Lynn James
Thomas Nelson, 2010
I won this through a weekly giveaway over at Favorite PASTimes (check 'em out, a great resource for 'clean', mostly Christian, historical fiction). It's the first in a series, and after finishing this novel I'm excited to see what will come!
I'll confess: even though I was a History major, with a self-selected concentration in American History, the Gilded Age is not one I'm familiar with outside the work & writings of Twain (who was, you know, pretty much a critic of the excess; The Gilded Age which he co-wrote with Charles Dudley Warner, is an entertaining read). Lately there have been several books set in the Gilded Age that have caught my attention though, so an extension of my education may be in order. That being said: I liked the way James presented the Gilded Age and its society - as represented by the wealthy elite summering at the Coast.
This is a novel where the characters 'grow' through the story - I like that, like it a lot. Lilly and Jackson (the main characters/'couple') grow the most, but you can also see other supporting characters evolving and maturing. None of 'em are perfect, but that just makes them more realistic. There's a whole host of characters and personalities represented, and I found the interactions and expectations of Gilded Age Elite to be interesting and entertaining. But also rather restrictive. In addition to learning a bit about the people, I also learned a little about the publishing industry "back in the day" -- this was very intriguing, and I think I'd like to revisit that subject in the future.
Overall, the novel is a fun read, light and breezy but also weighty enough that it's not pure fluff - James presents ideas that you can spend time thinking about, if you care to. Definitely looking forward to reading the next installment in the series: Love on Assignment.
Book provided by my personal library.