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Feature: THE DAVENPORTS by Krystal Marquis

Feature: THE DAVENPORTS by Krystal Marquis

A transportive debut romance set in turn-of-the-century Chicago.


EARLY PRAISE FOR THE DAVENPORTS:   ★ “This deftly written series opener examines the lives of Black elites following Reconstruction with a focus on the constraints of women. The strong characterization, developed through alternating third-person perspectives, and descriptive setting lure readers in. A dazzling debut.” Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews   ★ Marquis perceptively explores the history and momentous impact of Black achievements and wealth during an underreported period in U.S. history. Employing expert characterization and complex dynamics, the author presents a cast of take-charge women, undeterred by their struggles and pursuing their passions regardless of expectations.Starred Review, Publisher’s Weekly     “With dazzling prose and whip-smart pacing, Krystal Marquis’s gorgeous debut spirits readers into a world of polished glamor, but also a world shadowed by painful reckonings. Through trial, defeat, defiance, and triumph, its characters offer heart and perspectiveThe Davenports is a fresh, utterly enchanting read, and a much-needed addition to the contemporary canon of Black literature.” 
Ayana Gray, New York Times bestselling author of the Beasts of Prey trilogy  

Debut author Krystal Marquis transports readers to opulent 1910s Chicago in THE DAVENPORTS (Dial Books, on sale January 31, 2023),

the first book in an enthralling duology that interweaves romance, heartbreak, and courage, experienced through the lens of the early 20th century and four distinct perspectives. Olivia, Helen, Amy Rose, and Ruby bring readers along for the ride as they navigate the intricacies of love for the first time. Marquis’ dynamic Black heroines and their romantic adventures—inspired by the family of automobile magnate C.R. Patterson, and the flourishing of Black excellence in the 1900s—are perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory. 

The Davenport family thrives due to the entrepreneurship and ensuing fortune amassed by William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who established the Davenport Carriage Company years prior. While the Davenports and their friends are surrounded by chandeliers, gorgeous gowns, and endless parties, they soon learn that not all that glitters is gold, and love is the hardest lesson. 

Olivia, the beautiful older Davenport daughter, is in the process of fulfilling her obligations to get married until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader, Washington DeWight. Her sister and the younger Davenport daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor, the mysterious Jacob Laurence. Amy-Rose, childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own hair care business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest until family pressures have her scheming to win his heart, just as Harrison Barton wins hers.

The varied perspectives in THE DAVENPORTS offer connections with the characters and look at a time in history rarely seen in young adult novels. With four distinct voices and experiences, ever-changing social environments, a sweep-you-off-your-feet romance, and an exciting cliffhanger, readers will fall in love with the Davenport family and their friends, and be left to eagerly anticipate book two of the series. 

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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 the world’s biggest bookseller. 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.

THE DAVENPORTS by Krystal MarquisDial Books | $19.99 | Ages 12 and UpISBN: 9780593463338 | on sale January 31, 2023  

Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade book publisher, is dedicated to its mission of nourishing a universal passion for reading by connecting authors and their writing with readers everywhere. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people globally, was formed on July 1, 2013, by Bertelsmann and Pearson, who own 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively. With nearly 275** imprints and brands on six continents, Penguin Random House comprises adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital English- and Spanish-language trade book publishing businesses in more than 20 countries worldwide. With over 15,000 new titles, and more than 600 million print, audio and eBooks sold annually, Penguin Random House’s publishing lists include more than 80 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

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