Black Society, Romance & Intrigue in The Davenports

Posted February 20, 2024 by Richetta in Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Young Adult / 0 Comments

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Black Society, Romance & Intrigue in The Davenports

I received this book for free from Hear Our Voices Book Tours and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Black Society, Romance & Intrigue in The DavenportsThe Davenports by Krystal Marquis
Length: 12 hours
Published by Penguin on January 3, 2024
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Girls & Women, Young Adult Fiction / People & Places / United States / African American & Black, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Historical
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source: Hear Our Voices Book Tours and the publisher
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Now in paperback, The Davenports delivers a totally escapist, swoon-worthy romance while offering a glimpse into a period of African American history often overlooked.

The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it's 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love—even where they’re not supposed to.

There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers. Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, The Davenports is the tale of four determined and passionate young Black women discovering the courage to steer their own path in life—and love.

Where are all my historical fiction girlies? Romance and Black Society in early 20th Century Chicago is an awesome combination in The Davenports by Krystal Marquis. This is the representation I wish I had in novels growing up since historical fiction was and is my main jam. As a young Black girl I craved a book like this that centered Black life, romance and family in the elite section of society. To see and imagine my people in a role other than as enslaved. To see them upwardly mobile and wielding their own social power. 

Historical Representation

The Davenports tells the stories of four young Black girls coming of age in 1910 Chicago society. Inspired by the real story of C.R. Patterson and his family who were one of the few Black families who had immense wealth. This story is proof that we did exist in these spaces and contexts. It’s a great opportunity to see young Black women navigating various parts of society as they seek their own way and their true love. Black girls deserve this type of historical representation. 

Generational Dynamics

One dynamic I found interesting is that sensitive place between generations when the older/parental generation has triumphed over living through trauma and the younger generation has been protected from that trauma. The parents in this book were alive during slavery and in its immediate aftermath. Olivia and Helen Davenports father was formerly enslaved before he created the Davenport Carriage Company that made his family wealthy. His daughters get frustrated because they feel pushed into roles that are important to their parents but not to them. There is a gap in understanding why those roles would be important to their parents.

My Fave Storylines

While I found the romances interesting, I really followed the characters of Helen and Amy-Rose because of their entrepreneurial aspirations. I thought their resilience was endearing as they fought both for love and to be respected as business women. I am definitely excited to hear what is next in their stories in the next installment to the series. 

This is the kind of book that deserves its own PBS miniseries…

Stay tuned for the next book in the series, The Davenports: More Than This.

Blog ticket The Davenports

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