Title: The Davenports
Author: Krystal Marquis
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Romance
Publication Date: January 31st, 2023
Publisher: Dial Books
Thank you to the publisher and BookishFirst for a complimentary arc to review! All opinions are my own.
“The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love—even where they’re not supposed to.
There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.
Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, The Davenports is the tale of four determined and passionate young Black women discovering the courage to steer their own path in life—and love.” (Goodreads)
I’m so glad I was able to get a copy from BookishFirst because this was a good YA Regency novel!
The book is told from multiple point-of-views and they come from Olivia, Helen, Amy-Rose, and Ruby. They are all connected in some way and their stories overlap quite a bit but they also have their own plotlines as well.
Helen was my favorite out of the four. She had hobbies that weren’t right for her to have and I’ve felt that way before. She also didn’t care what others thought of her and basically danced to the beat of her own drum. Olivia learned a lot from her when it came to that. Her love interest was a surprise and his intentions were even more surprising as his secrets are revealed. I do hope that she gets a happy ending though.
Olivia was very much the child who did what they were told until she meets someone who changes her perception of the world. I liked that she was open to learning and it’s definitely something that everyone should strive to be like. She didn’t let danger dictate her path, or her parents.
Amy-Rose has had a hard life due to her background and also her position in society. I really felt for her situation, especially when it came to her love interest. She struggles a lot with identity and society only makes it harder for her. I will say that she is very persistent!
Ruby is a friend of Olivia and has been around the Davenport family since they were all children. Her family’s status is changing slowly and its partly due to her father’s campaign for Mayor. She doesn’t really have anyone to talk to about it until she meets a certain fellow and he changes her idea of love and duty.
I did like one more, but honestly they were all great characters and I liked their stories for different reasons. The other characters were also good, but some didn’t have as much page time and I hope we will see more of them in the sequel.
This book is definitely more romance than informative on the issues that are talked about. I don’t think it was bad though as the issues did spark my interest and I have done my own google searches because of it. There is still room for there to be more talk though and I am looking forward to it.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read!