Forever and Forever is the first book in a new series which will focus on the lives of real historical figures who have intriguing stories of courtship that are recreated in fictionalized accounts based on real biographical and social history research.
Forever and Forever is based on the true romance of poet Henry Longfellow who was madly in love with Fanny Appleton and devotedly courted her for seven years until finally winning her over.
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 hopes 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?
I’ve read several books by Josi S. Kilpack and several in the Proper Romance series, so I was really excited to read this book. I really enjoyed reading about the European tour that Fanny and her family took, but I agree with other reviews I’ve read…this book moves slowly. There is a lot of attention to detail and the book spans many years. This is certainly part of the reason the book feels slow paced. You get a great deal of information about Fanny’s family and how Henry’s pursuit of Fanny spans years.
As I said, I loved reading about the European tour. How amazing would it be if we lived like that now? “Oh, I’m going off for a couple of years on a European tour with my family. See you in 2018!” Of course, I’d have to have my pets with me, but we’re pretending here right? My dad’s family is from Switzerland…a few greats back…but we’ve got pictures of their chalet there. I’d so love to visit! And to be able to learn French because I was spending months in Paris? I think I could handle that.
I do feel like the relationship between Henry and Fanny was portrayed very well. My heart ached for Henry when he was rejected, but I appreciated that Fanny waited until she knew her heart before agreeing to marry Henry.
The end of the book contains notes where you can see what is fact and what is added by the author’s imagination. I’m looking forward to seeing who else will be written about in this historical fiction series.
I give this book 4 stars and recommend it if you are a lover of historical fiction.