An Unlikely Suitor
By Nancy Moser
Bethany House, 2011. 394 pgs. Romance
Lucy Scarpelli is an Italian immigrant who has lived in poverty most of her life, as she, her mother and her younger sister, the willful, spoiled Sofia, do piecework to eke out a meager existence. Their luck changes, however, when Lucy finds jobs for them as seamstresses, and even more so when a wealthy client, Rowena Langond, a New York socialite as she works on Rowena's dresses. When Rowena invites the three women to Newport to do some sewing work for her, Lucy and Sofia both find themselves being courted by men who are well above their classes. Although not quite sure these men would forsake their social standing in order to wed, neither of the sisters can help but follow her heart. Meanwhile, Rowena, who was crippled in an accident, is willing to obey her parents' wishes that she marry the son of a business associate, thinking that her affliction leaves her no other option; however, as much as she tries to love him, she's not quite sure that marrying him is her best option.
This book provides some gentle romance as well as a look at the social complexities of the late 19th century. Lucy and Rowena are both likable characters and readers will be anxiously awaiting for them to find their happiness; Sofia, on the other hand, is an overly annoying little sister who might have readers wishing they could smack her rather than hoping she finds love. The book concludes with a few notes and illustrations of dresses to provide a little extra insight in the society and fashion on the era.