Author:  Marion Marchetto
Publisher: iUniverse
ISBN: 1475932944

Marion Marchetto's Stairway to My Heart, the first book in her new Bridgewater Chronicles series, is sure to be an instant hit among historical fiction buffs.  Beginning in 1890 and spanning across many decades, Stairway to My Heart will capture your attention and leave you asking for more.  Marchetto is able to capture the feeling of 20th century America as she brings you the story of the Newkirk and Conner families.

Bostonian Kevin Newkirk is the heir to his prestigious family's business, Newkirk Trading.  Growing up he is a bright boy, more interested in horses and working in the Newkirk stables than going on hunting parties with the men of his family.  When Kevin comes of age he meets Jeannette, a Parlor Maid, who he falls in love with.  He has dreams of rescuing her from her hard life by marrying her.  However, because Jeannette is from a low social class, Kevin's parents nix his idea and insist that he marry a suitable bride that will bear him a son to carry on the Newkirk name.

Cordelia Conner is the daughter of immigrant parents who have found success in New York.  Determined that Cordelia have a better life than they had, her parents work hard to make her a 'woman of quality.'  Cordelia's brother, Cal, happens to meet and become best friends with Kevin at Yale.  As the years pass, the Newkirk's decide to host a party to introduce Kevin to available women who are of the correct social status.  Cordelia goes along with her brother to visit Kevin during this time.  However, once Kevin is reintroduced to the adult Cordelia, he knows who will be his wife.

All of this transpires in the first 100 pages of Stairway to My Heart.  I mention this because what I have written about is only the beginning for Kevin and Cordelia.  Marchetto's book flows wonderfully as year's pass and the duo succumbs to the will of their parents.  Kevin and Cordelia certainly do not have the perfect marriage or life.  Stairway to My Heart is full of romance, tragedy, and humor.  

I found the characters in Marchetto's Stairway to My Heart to be wonderfully written.  They were very 3 dimensional, with flaws and unique qualities.  Take Kevin, for instance.  During the beginning of Stairway to My Heart, I truly liked him and wanted to see him happy.  As time went on he changed from a bright young boy believing in love, to a pompous man very similar to his father.  Marchetto really does a great job of developing her characters to further Stairway to My Heart.

I, myself, am excited to read the next installment of The Bridgewater Chronicles.  The series is supposed to cover 5 generations of Newkirk's.  If the second book is anything like the first, it will be a fantastic read!  I have read that Marion Marchetto has hopes that The Bridgewater Chronicles will be turned into a movie or mini-series.  After reading Stairway to My Heart, this seems like the perfect story to bring to life. 

I definitely recommend Marion Marchetto's Stairway to My Heart, to any and all fiction lovers.  I thoroughly enjoyed every second of Stairway to My Heart, and believe you will too!

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