Review Title: Pursuits of Love in Old Chicago
(review of You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo)
Reviewer: Janice S. Garey
***** 5 Stars
This is a charming book from the front cover to the very satisfying end. The characters have believable dilemmas that are not easily resolved. The story contains mystery, love, and character growth through difficult circumstances. Spiritual discernment and an awakening to the difference between true believers and charlatans plays out in the pages, too. The storyline is appropriate for and would hold the interest of teenagers and all older.
Those interested in reading a book to discover valid ways to deal with problems encountered in current life will find many situations that the main character has to confront are similar to problems faced today. Some issues covered are integrity, duplicitous living, discernment of character, estrangement from family, choosing friends wisely, how small bad choices snowball into major bad consequences, frugality, setting a good example/protecting the young, making a good choice for a marriage partner, and how to leave a dangerous situation before it escalates. The story also shows the way to develop trust in the ever present God who loves His children despite their turning away from His best plans.
The backdrop of the story is the beautiful Marshall Fields department store. This setting works very nicely to show the family like community and exchange of thoughts, concerns, and gossip between the characters. The setting provides a unique look at the newest and finest fashions of the day. Additionally, the creativity in marketing merchandise to the city and beyond gives added interest to readers. This history of retail in the book, based on thorough research, makes it worthy of reading just for that. The wonderful story is the sweet cream mixed into a delicious cup of coffee.
The author gives a fascinating look at life in old Chicago, perfect escapism on the one level, but on another level, the wisdom it shares regarding trials in life, without being preachy, may save someone the cost of a therapist. The historical aspect takes the reader out of their own tangle of problems and gives a point of observation that can help with a clear viewing of right and wrong and the gray areas that often cause people to slip and slide into places they did not mean to go. I highly recommend this book.