The Invention of Sarah CummingsSarah Cummings has one goal in life--to break into Chicago's high society. Desperate to stop serving dinner and to start eating at society tables, Sarah alters cast-off gowns from the wealthy Banning women to create lustrous, flattering dresses of her own. On a whim at a chance meeting, she presents herself as Serena Cuthbert, weaving a fictitious past to go with her fictitious name. But as she gets closer to Simon Tewell, the director of St. Andrew's Orphanage, Sarah finds that she must choose between the life she has and the life she dreams of. Will she sacrifice love to continue her pretense? Or can Simon show her that sometimes you don't have to pretend for dreams to come true?
Olivia Newport brings us back to Prairie Avenue to explore the place where class, social expectations, and romance come together. Readers will enjoy following the intrepid Sarah as she searches for true love in a world of illusions.
My Review: 8/10
I thought this book was by far the best of the 3, which is interesting since I really couldn't stand Sarah in the previous two books.
I thought Ms. Newport did a wonderful job showing a slow, often times painful transition from being self-absorbed and selfish to letting people in and learning to love them. Sarah's double life was a nail biter for sure, and I thought how she got tangled up in her web of lies (and even more so, her sickened feeling almost immediately afterward) was very believeable. When we court envy and discontentment, it is so easy to get swept up in a path and a life we never would have purposely set out to walk.
My biggest complaint was the fire. I thought it was too over the top and unnecessary. But thankfully, Ms. Newport has Sarah make her decision just beforehand.
If you liked the two previous books, or even if you didn't, this book is worth giving a try. It's reminiscent of a cinderella story, with a much more realistic lead, who is flawed and downright ugly in her humanity at times, just like we all are. But Sarah's story reminds us that He creates beauty out of ashes.