Monday, April 11, 2016

Forever and Forever, Book Review on The Courtship of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Fanny Appleton

I'm so pleased to share a new book with you today by Josi Kilpack. I absolutely loved Forever and Forever: The Courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton.

This book was beautifully written and a pure delight to read. Have you ever fallen in love with the characters in a book and wished that they were real? Well, this book is based on the true love story of the famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and the heiress Fanny Appleton.
The story of their courtship is amazing, so unpredictable and with a love so deep that it left me thinking about Henry and Fanny for several days after finishing the book. I loved the author's research notes in the back of the book and how Josi included a timeline of actual events and what was straight fact and well as fiction.
Josi Kilpack has established herself as a wordsmith not to be ignored. Her novels are a gem and with Forever and Forever, she has drawn attention to the depth of her talent and writing skills. I can't wait to read more from her in this new genre of a historical proper romance.

Here's a little more about this book:
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. Recently widowed, he is gathering research for a new publication that he hope will secure his professorship at Harvard College. Befriended by the Appleton family while visiting Switzerland, Henry is introduced to Fanny and 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 from a much lower social class and is older than she is. 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?

More praise for FOREVER AND FOREVER:
Well-researched, emotionally charged tale based on the real courtship of Henry Longfellow, America s first professional poet, and Fanny Appleton, an intelligent Boston heiress. The relationship was rocky and unlikely...Henry maintains a friendship with Fanny's family, and his dogged pursuit of Fanny confuses her; the widower's ardent attentions don't jibe with her ideas about love that lasts forever. Henry's inner turmoil is absolutely heart-wrenching, as his continuing passion finds expression in his writing but meets resistance and even unkindness at times from Fanny and her friends. Kilpack vividly re-creates the era in which the couple lived and constructs a love story that even the pickiest poet would declare fit for the ages. " - --Publishers Weekly


"New romance series based on the actual courtships of renowned writers, artists and musicians. Kilpack richly describes the customs and mores of the time, while appealing to present day sensibilities. Readers will gain a very different understanding of Longfellow, both through the story, as he and Fanny marry and live together joyously until fate interrupts their "happily ever after" and through the accompanying materials, including an informative time line, interesting chapter notes, and useful discussion questions for book clubs. This is an unusual and thoroughly engaging and eye-opening approach to historical romance. The next in Kilpack's thoughtful series will feature Sir Walter Scott." ---Booklist

I received a review copy of this book and I have shared my honest opinion.

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