Happy Monday Everyone!
I hope you all had a lovely weekend! This week’s author spotlight is on the deeply talented, Marie Silk. She is a historical fiction author with four books out in her Davenport House series already, and I am absolutely in love with them! If you are interested in series set in the Progressive Era, then I highly recommend her work.
- How did you get the idea for “Davenport House”?
I am a fan of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey. I wanted to write an American counterpart during similar times. Inheritance conflicts have been an issue since earliest recorded history—heated even in present day. I believe a reason for this could be that grief and tragedy can bring out the most extreme emotions of the surviving family. This makes for interesting stories in any era.
- Have you always loved writing historical fiction, and do you read it as well?
This is the first time that I have written historical fiction. I had a wonderful time researching for these novels. The locations are real places, and readers might be interested to know that the department store in the first book is still famous to this day. It is now the Macy’s store that is known worldwide for its Thanksgiving Day parades. I still read and enjoy historical fiction. The Mandie series was my favorite to read when I was growing up.
- How many books are you estimating will be in the series?
There are six books planned for the Davenport House family saga, continuing through WWI and the Great Depression.
- Do you only write historical fiction?
I write in many genres. My friends and family know me for writing satire and humor. Writing a serious historical fiction saga was a surprise to others as well as myself.
- Why did you pick the era that is the setting for “Davenport House”?
I picked the Progressive Era because I believe the United States was experiencing a peak time of glory. People were mostly recovered from the Civil War by then, and began making great advances in technology. I think it must have been an exciting time to be alive. I also think that the dresses were beautiful, and the way the characters are dressed is an important element of Davenport House.
- What do you hope readers will take away from your writing?
I hope that readers will enjoy the contrast of rich and poor, with a bit of the Cinderella feeling. There is a full range of emotions to be explored throughout this saga. I hope that Davenport House might become a real mansion in the minds’ eye, so that the fine dining, marble fireplaces, and lovely dresses can be enjoyed to their fullest.
Book 1: Davenport House
Mary Davenport is a 22-year-old idealist who worries that the world in the Progressive Era is leaving her behind. She lives isolated in the Pennsylvania countryside with her affluent and secretive family. When her father dies suddenly, Mary becomes pained with grief and increasingly suspicious of those around her.
A humble servant girl has the chance of a lifetime to become a lady’s companion. Costly dresses, exquisite rooms, and fine dinners are pleasant distractions from what is really happening in the house.
Book 2: A New Chapter
The family saga continues in this sequel to Davenport House, resuming where the first leaves off in the spring of 1915. The family and servants must face their fears amid love and jealousy, grief and moving forward, and threat of imminent War with the World.
The restructure of an upper class family affects all who live on the Pennsylvania estate. 22-year-old Mary Davenport stays occupied with modernizing the house, but insecurities arise when she develops romantic feelings for the first time.
A wealthy socialite persuades one of the ladies to join her on a voyage aboard the exquisite Lusitania. Handsome Ethan is forced to move into the mansion after a fire destroys his home. Tensions rise as Davenport House enters a new chapter with more challenges than anyone is prepared for.
Book 3: A Mother’s Love
The family saga continues in this third book to Davenport House, beginning with a chapter that looks into the past to understand the present.
Motor cars and telephone calls are now part of the modern life at Davenport House. It is summertime in 1915 Pennsylvania and the ladies of the house are making big plans for the year. Clara takes financial matters into her own hands and discovers an unlikely alliance outside of the house. The future becomes uncertain when faiths collide and a sudden outbreak of fever sweeps across the county.
Ethan and his father are absent for days when secrets of the past are found in a letter. The trustee reopens the estate of the late Mr. Davenport with the power to change everything for everyone at Davenport House.
Book 4: Heiress Interrupted
More to the story is revealed in this fourth book to Davenport House. Nellie Whitmore is accustomed to life as a carefree heiress, but her claim to the family fortune is at risk because of a new heir. Nellie is sent to Britain to be married before word spreads of her changing circumstances. What begins as a luxurious voyage becomes a fight for survival when the ship is caught in the midst of the War, forever changing the people who live to tell about it.
Friendship is kept afloat by telegrams between London and Davenport House. Mary Davenport announces exciting news, and the servants prepare for more changes downstairs. Ethan is anxious to move to Philadelphia, but becomes overworked while the estate is in search of a new groundskeeper. Relationships become strained when the unthinkable shakes the foundation of the house, and the ladies are left to evaluate the risks of keeping secrets.