Book Review: The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

Publisher: Penguin
Format: ebook
Release Date: February 2nd, 2023
Age: Young Adult
Genre: Romance – Historical

Rating: 5/5 Stars

This was a really good read! It’s YA Historical Romance, centred around a Black family during a turbulent time of American history. It’s been compared to Bridgerton, and I can most definitely see the parallels; I would absolutely love to see this adapted into a TV series (and think this book deserves it!). The book centres around four different young women; the two Davenport daughters, Olivia and Helen, their friend and maid Amy-Rose, and Ruby, Olivia’s best friend.

As the book progresses, all four of them grow, gaining clarity on their lives and what they want out of them, and making strides towards these despite parental and societal expectations. Olivia grows to realise how much her parents have shielded her from, while Helen struggles to find ways to follow her passion. Meanwhile, Amy-Rose is looking to set up her own business, and Ruby’s father is running for mayor, causing strains on the family’s finances.

Each of these young women have their own struggles that tie into the larger issues facing women and Black people at the time. They add important elements to their characters, and it’s interesting to see how their situations feed into their romantic lives. Although the romances are an important part of the plot, it’s the growth these characters experience that that makes it special. And it is very much character driven, whether it’s Olivia learning more about civil rights or characters advocating for themselves.

I also really liked how the chapters and characters were paired together, as it enables the reader to see the other characters through different eyes, and largely it feels like the non-POV characters move from one scene to another, while giving the reader just enough information to feel unsure about what the love interests are feeling, thinking, or even doing half the time! The whole technique is used really effectively.

Overall, I think this is a really solid novel, very enjoyable to read, and a great YA Historical Romance.

Thank you to Penguin for providing me a copy of this book via NetGalley. Views remain my own.


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