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Forever and forever a little slow
By , Submitted on 2019-05-30

Josi Kilpack really writes great novels..This one, however, was a little slow for me. I was so interested in their lives and love story. I am related distantly to Fanny A Longfellow through my grandmother’s line.. I thought maybe I might also be descended from Henry too since he has a lot of Pilgrim ancestors as I do

I do love your writing. Josi!TAMMY V. MESA, AZ

Great book!
By , Submitted on 2018-04-27

This book tells of the courtship of Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton. This is a great historical fiction, I was attracted to this book after reading the book "All That Makes Life Bright," I am a new fan of Josi Kilpack! This book did not let me down! I listened to it as an audio book. The narrator did a really good job, she brings the book to life! I would recommend the book to all women and I would recommend the audio version for sure.

Beautifully written!
By , Submitted on 2016-05-17

I found this book to be a wonderful insight into these two people. I love how Josi took factual information on both Henry and Fanny and their lives, and relationship and told their story. She filled in the gaps with a heartfelt story, helping us to get to know the characters individually, as well as how their love story unfolded. It also gave me a new appreciation for Longfellow's poetry and also made me see it through 'new eyes'. I highly recommend this book! LOVED IT!

Great Historical Romance!
By , Submitted on 2016-04-27

I'm excited for this new series which will focus on the courtships of real historical figures! This book is about Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton. I knew nothing about their story before I started reading it and found it intriguing. When they first met, Fanny was young (19) and Henry was ten years older than her. Henry fell in love with Fanny right away, but she didn't return his feelings.

Henry was easy to fall in love with because he wore his heart on his sleeve and was genuine. When he first met the Appleton's, he was healing from a recent tragedy in his life and meeting Fanny gave him motivation to start living again. Fanny was a bit of a snob and wasn't interested in Henry romantically. I did like that, when she realized he was starting to get ideas she wasn't comfortable with, she let him down rather than string him along. It took her quite a few years to warm up to him. She was young when they first met and I liked the growth the author showed in her over the years, even though some of it is fictional.

I liked that the author included Chapter Notes at the end where she included what was fact and what she took creative license on to create a fluid story. She also gave a brief overview of their life after the book ended. This book is well researched and I felt like I really got to know the characters. I did enjoy it but there were parts that moved a bit too slowly for me and I was able to put it down for a while before picking it up again. I'm looking forward to the next story in this series!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review. My opinion is 100% my own.

By , Submitted on 2016-04-24

Josi is a great author and this book is a nice read;however, it did not hold my attention and about halfway through I skipped to the last three chapters. I know I missed some important details but I didn't feel inclined to go back and read what I had missed. I loved how Josi wrapped it up.

A great historical fiction proper romance!
By , Submitted on 2016-04-20

I love that this Proper Romance is a historical fiction! Henry Longfellow and Fanny Appleton were real people! Josi takes the biographies, letters, and journals that we have about the couple and then fills in the blanks and adds some of her own impressions from the love story. I love that Josi wrote at the end of the book what really happened and what she created in each chapter.

A young Fanny Appleton meets Henry Longfellow while touring Europe. He is 10 years her senior and below her social class. Being a professor and writer wouldn’t bring her the comfort she was used to as the daughter of an industrialist. Henry is impressed by Fanny’s intellect and desire to learn, but she is not impressed with his quick pursuit of her love.

I love that Josi took what she knew about Henry and Fanny and filled in the blanks of what could have happened. That makes the story all the more enjoyable for me. The book is well written and keeps you engaged while also giving you a little history of American culture during the 1830s and 1840s. She does a great job including what was popular at the time and what it was like to live during that time period on the American east coast.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story and historical fiction.

Forever and Forever
By , Submitted on 2016-04-11

My Rating: 3.5 Stars
I thought this was a cute love story. Henry and Fanny are both well written, and it was fun to get to know them and their story. Because each of these characters is so strong-willed, it takes most of the book to actually reach the romance part. There are bits and pieces here and there along the way, but the lead-up is definitely most of the book. This could be seen as a negative, but I actually enjoyed getting to know the characters and their stories. I liked how their paths intertwined and how they both needed the time it took. It was fun as a reader to know that these people were real, and that many of the events that took place and the people that surrounded them were also real. I thought it was a good depiction of what their lives could have been like. Although it was a little slow in parts, I thought this book was sweet and fun, and I think it's a good addition to the proper romance genre. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it. It's clean besides a kiss or two, and there is the death of a character. It's sad, but it's not scary or graphic or anything like that. I would recommend it for YA and up. You may read my full review on my book blog:

One of the best books I've ever read!
By , Submitted on 2016-04-07

FOREVER AND FOREVER was historically rich, bittersweet, and deeply romantic. Enjoyable from beginning to end with relateable characters, realistic and heartfelt experiences, and fantastic writing. A truly superb read! To be highly recommended to book clubs, general women's fiction, romance, and inspirational romance readers.

This story was just so good. I don't know that I can really give it credit. I will say that it will make my top reads for 2016, if not the top read. I loved the historical context and that it was based on a true love story. I loved how well the author mixed fiction with fact. What an undertaking as an author to take on this historical story and she did it so marvelously well! This story made me laugh, cry, and swoon. I loved the chapter notes at the end, which brought a few more tears.

It wasn't your usual romance. It wasn't light and flirty with some trivial thing or two that stands in the way of love. It had much more depth than that. It read more like women's fiction and an introspective read as six years or so of these two characters' lives are told. Plus there was the addition of complex family relationships and loss. It was poignant and heartfelt. It also gave a realistic view on the period, on medical and intellectual challenges, and on society and its classes or expectations. It would make for a good discussion on several points. A meaningful, beautiful, and heartfelt read.

Content: Clean
Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.

Beautifully written love story.
By , Submitted on 2016-04-06

4.5 stars

The courtship of Henry Longefellow and Fanny Appleton wasn't on my radar before this book. I wasn't even mildly curious. I wanted to read this book first, because it was written by Josi Kilpack, and second, because it is in the Proper Romance Line from Shadow Mountain. I know that I will have a quality reading experience because of the two things listed above.

The book in many ways seemed poetic to me. Maybe it was the subject matter, the setting, or the time period. I feel that Josi Kilpack captured the essence of the characters and time period. Her descriptions brought the book to life for me and I felt invested in the story and characters.

This is a slow moving romance. The book covers seven years of unrequited love. It illustrates how deeply Henry Longfellow felt about things that he was able to hold on for that long. I appreciated learning that he had progressive ideas about education and women. He was ahead of his time. I think he is a person in history that I would love to sit down with and talk about the world and his views. I hate to admit that I haven't read his books or poetry, they are now going on my list to read sometime in the future.

Fanny was also a passionate woman. She had deeply held beliefs and ideas. She was the perfect match for Henry, it just took her a LONG time to figure it out. Her journey kept me reading as she learned to trust her head and heart. The couple had many setbacks and heartbreaks to overcome as they grew into people who could appreciate each other.

Looking Forward to More
By , Submitted on 2016-04-05

Although I've studied his works, I never learned much about Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's background--his hopes, dreams, and loves that place his writing in context. I loved getting to know these things about him. I especially connected with the reviews and reactions to his writing in his time.

At times, I wished there had been more of the book from his perspective because I wanted to know a little more why he was so compelled to love a woman who was, at times, hard to like. Curious why Kilpack wrote Fanny the way she did, I read the notes in the back of the book and did some internet research and found that, while not always a sympathetic character, Kilpack seems to have portrayed Fanny honestly. Despite this, there were times that I liked Fanny, so ultimately I longed for them to be together.

In the end, it was worth it, seeing the change in Fanny, though I wished I could have seen more of the tenderness between the two of them at the end of the book--maybe drawing out the last few scenes a little for this reader's satisfaction. Perhaps some of the family's reaction to their change in relationship might have been nice as well, and I couldn't help but want to know if she ever learned German.

I had not known about this couple's courtship and very much enjoyed learning about them--bringing them to life. I hope there are more books based on historical figures to come!

*I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tender and insightful.
By , Submitted on 2016-04-05

Josi Kilpack has written a tender love story for the ages based on the real-life courtship of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Fanny Appleton. I found myself immediately drawn into the lives of both of the main characters as they enjoy their travels through Europe while struggling with the grief of losing loved ones, Henry, his wife, and Fanny, her beloved cousin. While the main elements of the story are true, Kilpack is very straight-forward about the parts she fictionalized. I really appreciated this since there is a great deal that isn't known about individual thoughts and feelings and exactly when certain things happened if at all. I think what felt the most real to me was the development of the relationship itself as both Fanny and Henry grow and change throughout their 6-7 year courtship. I loved seeing Fanny grow up and slowly start to realize that maybe social class and age difference aren't as big an obstacle as she at first thought. And Henry has to learn patience and the importance of giving someone their space to grow and develop as needed. Kilpack has created a story here that is both tender and realistic and a potent reminder that relationships require real work and a heart-felt investment of time and emotion. I loved this proper romance just as I've loved all the others that Shadow Mountain has produced. Truly one of my favorite series!

By , Submitted on 2016-04-05

We LOVE Proper Romances in this house. When the opportunity came up to review the new ones coming up this year I jumped at it. These books just make me happy.....Well, in this case a little frustrating ;).

This was such a beautiful book. The writing is lovely, and Kilpack put me right into the book. The settings are amazing, and I felt like I got to know the characters on a personal level.

The story of Henry and Fanny's courtships spans over 7 years. Yes, seven, frustrating years ;).
I loved Henry from the moment he entered the story. He is kind, passionate about his work, and so very sweet. He was morning the loss of his wife while they were on holiday promoting his book.

He meets the Appleton's and let's just say the rest is history. Just a loooong history ;).

I have to admit this story frustrated the heck out of me at times. I couldn't help but think of Fanny as a spoiled, rich, brat. She made me so angry sometimes. She had such a kind, loving, heart, that her reactions to some people just made me want to slap her...hehe

Henry on the other hand frustrated me in other ways. I loved him, but his pining made me want to slap him as well. I love it when an author provokes such emotions in me. It makes the book that much more wonderful.

If you like love stories, then you will enjoy this one. All the Proper Romances are great! This is such a great addition to the series.... The time line at the end of the book is fantastic as well!

All in all this story was beyond fantastic! Pick it up, you won't regret it!!

Great love story!
By , Submitted on 2016-03-31

I've never really wondered about the love life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and this story was very heart-wrenching and intriguing. Times were different in the 1840s and a ten year age gap, with Henry being a widower at his first meeting with Fanny, was enough of a different to put Fanny off for awhile. Some women take awhile to woo and Henry was smitten almost immediately and was persistent and devoted enough to continue on, no matter how discouraged he felt.

I love historical novels because I get a good feel for the character, yet some license is used to fill in the blanks of how the story might have gone and it really makes the characters come alive, as they once were. Instead of just being a vague story, I feel apart of their lives, as a friend or acquaintance, watching things unfold. I loved learning more about the times, the social customs, and life in Boston and Europe at this time.

This story and the background to Henry and Fanny's romance helped his poetry and words really have more meaning, as I understood the context a lot better. Ms. Kilpack did a fantastic job with the research needed to develop these characters and tell their story. The Afterword had me in tears, as I came to learn what happened. This is a story that will stay with me for awhile.

Content: mild romance. Clean!

*I received a copy through the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Cute, clean, compelling read!
By , Submitted on 2016-03-30

This book is amazing! I loved the way that both Fanny's and Henry's characters jumped off the page, becoming more real to me than they ever were before. These characters were really well-written, making me forget over and over that it's not a fictional tale, these things really did happen to the real people.

There were some parts of the book that I really didn't like Fanny, she thought things that seemed to be prideful and even rude. But then I remembered again, that these were real people and the way things would have been perceived by others of Fanny's class, and that helped me to understand why she would have thought those things.

I loved the way that Fanny's step-mother is portrayed, as a loving mother, even to Fanny who would have been in her 20's when her step-mother and father married. I love that she had enough influence on Fanny in the story to help change the way she thought and be able to move on from where she was.

The plot of this one is pretty neat because it's a true story, but obviously, Josi Kilpack had to write her own take on what would have happened to the two because not everything would have been documented. I loved reading the end notes about the book almost as much as the book itself. The whole thing was just fascinating!

This is an amazing book that I didn't want to put down. It's clean, compelling and sweet! Such a great book by an amazing author!