Lilly and Rosie are cousins and heiresses to their respective family fortunes. While summering in Paris during the Roaring Twenties, they each wish to break free of the social mores restraining them - Lilly to return to her beloved ranch in Montana, and Rosie to become an actress like her French idol. Each has the resources and skill necessary to follow their dreams - but do they have the courage to follow their dreams all the way to fruition, no matter the cost?
I identified with Lilly right off the bat. Raised on a ranch in Montana before being sent to Paris for a summer of refinement, she felt like a fish out of water amongst the luxury and excess of Paris in the '20s. Her desire for simplicity and close family relationships drew her to me, while I had trouble connecting with the more flamboyant Rosie. Wanting to experience every wild flavor of Paris, she affected a carefree manner even when she didn't feel it in order to be more like the flappers she favored.
I must admit, that within a few chapters the cousins' strong desires to chase their dreams in sneaky, underhanded fashions, without regard for why they were surrounded with rules for their care or for the feelings of those around them irritated me. It made these young ladies appear shallow and childish - and yet, aren't most of us in our mid-teen years? Despite their seeming simplicity, these characters were anything but - and they each have a complex, emotional backstory that both adds to their drama and their depth. It's this desire to find their own ways and to do what is right that ultimately made me love them both.
You might expect that, with two main characters, each so closely entwined in leading the story, that they would remain in close proximity or that the story would span a short time period, but neither is the case. Warren seamlessly weaves a tapestry of heartache, love, longing, forgiveness, and redemption across the Western Hemisphere with no contact between Lilly and Rosie for years, and yet the plot remains tight and unforgettable.
One of my favorite aspects of this story is the unique setting. While there are many historical fiction stories on the market, and many 'poor little rich girl' books on the shelf, as well, few detail the dangers of wing walking during the early years of aviation like Baroness. The same is true for the life of a baseball player. This attention to detail makes this book leap away from the others.
Baroness is the second in the Daughters of Fortune series. I'm interested in reading the first to find out exactly which events molded Lilly and Rosie into the young women I met in Paris - and even more eager to read the third and find out what ultimately happens to them.
If you're a flapper at heart - or always wanted to be - don't miss Baroness.
I received a free copy of this book from the LitFuse Group in exchange for an honest review.
Ready to read it for yourself? You can buy this book here.
Susan May Warren is the RITA award-winning novelist of over thirty novels. A five-time Christy award finalist, a two-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.
A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: From the Inside-Out: discover, create and publish the novel in you!.
She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, a story-crafting service that helps authors discover their voice. You can find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com.
Find out what the reviewers are saying here!
Expected to marry well and to take the reins of the family empire, they have their lives planned out for them. But following their dreams -- from avant garde France, to Broadway, to the skies in the world of barnstormers and wing-walkers -- will take all their courage. And if they find love, will they choose freedom or happily ever after?
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