Love is in the air! And with Valentine’s Day around the corner, we at THP would like to introduce you to a breathtaking YA historical romance: Krystal Marquis’ debut novel, The Davenports. Imagine this: Bridgerton with an all-Black cast of characters set in 1910s Chicago. We don’t know about you, but that’s enough to convince us to read it!
We aren’t lying when we say we started and finished reading The Davenports by Krystal Marquis in less than a day. The romance and pining of this book had us in a chokehold. And knowing the story will continue in later books is the icing on the cake!
Now, we think it’s the perfect time to share four love lessons we learned from each of the four main characters in The Davenports!
Content Warnings: racism, slavery, violence
Summary: 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.
Olivia: Choose A Partner Who Challenges You
To start: the lesson we learned from Olivia’s love story is to choose someone who challenges you. And not in the sense that they constantly argue with you. Olivia’s love interest, Washington, sees the potential in her and brings it out of her. He’s passionate about civil rights and teaches her new things about activism. Olivia grows into the best version of herself when she’s with Washington, and that’s all we could ask for in a relationship.
Helen: Staying True To Yourself Is A Strength
Next, we have Olivia’s younger sister, Helen. Helen ignores convention for young ladies and chooses to spend her time fixing automobiles. And while she has to hide this activity from her parents, she knows what she wants for her future. Even as Helen develops feelings for Jacob Lawrence, Olivia’s suitor, she stays true to herself. Her unique interests don’t make her less attractive than other girls in her age group. She refuses to change for the sake of others, and we want to follow her lead.
Amy-Rose: Know Your Self-Worth
A lesson we learned from Amy-Rose’s rocky romance with John Davenport is to know your self-worth. Amy-Rose is an entrepreneurial woman with a life goal to open a hair salon. Her social class is much below John’s, making their relationship almost impossible. So when John can’t confidently choose a life with her, Amy-Rose makes the decision easier for both of them. Our main takeaway: Love yourself enough to know when you should leave, even if it hurts.
Ruby: Communication Comes First
Last but not least, we have Olivia’s best friend, Ruby. We think she and her suitor, Harrison Barton, are one of our favorite couples in The Davenports. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from their conflicts, it’s to make communication a priority. It’s better to save you and your partner the pain of misunderstanding and betrayal by fully explaining the truth when it happens. Otherwise, you risk ruining everything you have with them.
The Davenports by Krystal Marquis is out now, and you can get your copy here!
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