Title: My Dear Miss Dupré
Author: Grace Hitchcock
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Copyright: March 2, 2021
Format: E-Book, 368 Pages
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Willow Dupré never thought she would have to marry, but with her father’s unexpected retirement from running the prosperous Dupré sugar refinery, she is forced into a different future. The shareholders are unwilling to allow a female to take over the company without a man at her side, so her parents devise a plan–find Willow a spokesman king in order for her to become queen of the business empire.
Willow is presented with thirty potential suitors from the families of New York society’s elite group called the Four Hundred. She has six months to court the group and is told to to eliminate men each month to narrow her beaus until she chooses one to marry, ending the competition with a wedding. Willow reluctantly agrees, knowing she must do what is best for the business. She doesn’t expect to find anything other than a proxy . . . until she meets a gentleman who captures her attention, and she must discover for herself if his motives are pure.
Willow Dupré, a wealthy heiress from one of the foremost families on Fifth Avenue, is the most sought-after lady in New York society. With her father retiring, she has no time for anything else, let alone a man, because she is far too busy overseeing the family business. Despite the fact that she is a devoted businesswoman, the board of shareholders holds the fact that she is a woman against her and will not stand behind her. Not long after, her parents announce that she must find a husband who can help her maintain power among those who would try to take it away. When she learns that her parents have entered her into a competition where she must choose from among some of the premier suitors in society, she is reluctant, to say the least. Willow must use caution and wit as she assesses the motives of those who want to be the king of her sugar empire.
To the modern reader, the plot of this book is reminiscent of the popular reality show, The Bachelorette. In what is a unique take, author Grace Hitchcock has combined the modern with the old fashioned by setting her book at the height of America’s Gilded Age. As a professional businesswoman, Willow Dupré is no shrinking violet but a largely unconventional heroine who goes against the grain of polite society. In short, she is a woman before her time.
Overall, the book is amusing and entertaining, a relatively quick read. The characters are interesting and possess great depth. It is apparent by her knowledge and word use that Hitchcock did considerable research when writing this book.
Originally featured on the History Novel Society website.