Title: What the Lady Wants
Author: Renee Rosen
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publish Date: November 4, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the author and the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "The
night of the Great Fire, as seventeen-year-old Delia watches the flames
rise and consume what was the pioneer town of Chicago, she can’t imagine
how much her life, her city, and her whole world are about to
change. Nor can she guess that the agent of that change will not simply
be the fire, but more so the man she meets that night.…
the way in rebuilding after the fire, Marshall Field reopens his
well-known dry goods store and transforms it into something the world
has never seen before: a glamorous palace of a department store. He and
his powerhouse coterie—including Potter Palmer and George Pullman—usher
in the age of robber barons, the American royalty of their generation.
But behind the opulence, their private lives are riddled with scandal
and heartbreak. Delia and Marshall first turn to each other out of
loneliness, but as their love deepens, they will stand together despite
disgrace and ostracism, through an age of devastation and opportunity,
when an adolescent Chicago is transformed into the gleaming White City
of the Chicago’s World’s Fair of 1893."
My Two Cents:
"What the Lady Wants" takes place in the Gilded Age in the shining White City, Chicago. Delia, a privileged young woman, falls for the charismatic Marshall Field, who brings a store made up consumers', mostly women, wildest dreams to life in the center of the city. There is only one problem: Field is married to Nannie, a woman bent on making Field's life a nightmare. Delia is married to Arthur, a man hiding his own secrets. I was incredibly excited to read this book, especially after my trip to Chicago back in June (actually the hotel that we stayed at appears in the book, which was super cool), and I was most definitely not disappointed!
The affair of Delia and Marshall is based on fact although there were a lot of crazy rumors about their coupling (my favorite from the author's note was that there was a rumor that they had a secret tunnel between their two properties so that they could visit each other). I loved reading about their relationship. It is easy to see how they fell for each other. I also liked reading about their dealings with each of their spouses. I mostly felt bad for Arthur. He knows his marriage is a sham and wants something very different. Nannie is just crazy. She is addicted to drugs and is not all there at all! Definitely good reading!
This book will definitely be a treat for my fellow historical fiction lovers. The book takes place from the Great Fire of Chicago to the World's Fair, definitely an action packed few years in the city's history. The author definitely captures this glitzy age well. I was sucked in by all of the descriptions and details. Overall, this was a great story that kept me entertained all the way through!