The Davenports

Photo of The Davenports on Kindle

The Davenports by Krystal Marquis

Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: January 31, 2023
Genres: Young Adult Fiction

Book Review

Set in 1910, The Davenports tells the story of one wealthy Black family in Chicago. The oldest daughter Olivia struggles with balancing her family’s expectations that she will marry a wealthy Black man with her desire to become involved in civil rights. The youngest daughter, Helen, would rather be working in a garage than courting suitors. Olivia and Helen’s childhood friend and maid, Amy-Rose, has grand ambitions to open her own haircare business. She also has always been in love with the girl’s brother, John. Olivia’s best friend, Ruby is under immense pressure from her family to secure an engagement from John, even though someone else has caught her eye. 

Inspired by the real-life story of the Patterson family, The Davenports is a thoroughly unique story shedding light on an often forgotten part of history. It carefully balances a soapy story about wealthy women navigating romantic relationships and social issues of the time. It reminded me so much of the American Royals series. Both reimagine U.S. history and follow four young women from various walks of life. If you were a fan of that series, check out The Davenports!

I listened to the audiobook version and would highly recommend it! I loved the narrator, but I wish the various perspectives were narrated by different voices because it became challenging to figure out which character’s perspective the section was told from.

Thank you to Penguin Teen and PRH Audio for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own. 

Synopsis from Goodreads

In 1910, 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 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.

The first book in a breathless new series, The Davenports offers a glimpse into a period of African American history often overlooked, while delivering a totally escapist, swoon-worthy read. Inspired by the real-life story of C.R. Patterson and his family, it’s the tale of four determined and passionate young Black women discovering the courage to steer their own path in life—and love.

About the Author

Headshot of author Krystal Marquis

Krystal Marquis happily spends most of her time in libraries and used bookstores. She studied biology at Boston College and University of Connecticut and now works as an environmental, health, and safety manager for an online retailer. A lifelong reader, Krystal began researching and writing on a dare to complete the NaNoWriMo Challenge, resulting in the first partial draft of The Davenports. When not writing or planning trips to the Book Barn to discover her next favorite romance, Krystal enjoys hiking, expanding her shoe collection, and plotting ways to create her own Jurassic Park.

This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something we may earn a commission. Thanks.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s