The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway
by Ashley Schumacher
Publication Date March 14, 2023
Published by St. Martin's Publishing Group
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Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / Romantic Comedy
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
"Ashley Schumacher's latest novel is a delightful read, with diverse characters and an irresistible setting. The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway proves that there's no better place to find yourself than at a Renaissance Faire." - Jen Deluca, author of Well Met
Dumplin' meets Well Met in this novel about finding your place in the world, learning love is a risk worth taking, and discovering what happens when you take your fate into your own hands.
Since her mother’s death, Madeline “Gwen” Hathaway has been determined that nothing in her life will change ever again. That’s why she keeps extensive lists in journals, has had only one friend since childhood, and looks forward to the monotony of working the ren faire circuit with her father. Until she arrives at her mother’s favorite end-of-tour stop to find the faire is under new management and completely changed.
Meeting Arthur, the son of the new owners and an actual lute-playing bard, messes up Maddie’s plans even more. For some reason, he wants to be her friend - and ropes her into becoming Princess of the Faire. Now Maddie is overseeing a faire dramatically changed from what her mother loved and going on road trips vastly different from the routine she used to rely on. Worst of all, she’s kind of having fun.
Ashley Schumacher's The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway is filled with a wise old magician who sells potion bottles, gallant knights who are afraid of horses and ride camels instead, kings with a fondness for theatrics, a lazy river castle moat with inflatable crocodile floaties, and a plus-sized heroine with a wide open heart... if only she just admits it.
"Set in one of my favorite places in the world — a Renaissance Faire full of jousts, royalty, bards, and castles— this is a wise, beautiful, funny book with tremendous heart. I absolutely loved it." - Jamie Pacton, author of The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly and Lucky Girl
The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher is a lovely, emotional young adult, romantic comedy that I just loved. The setting of a renaissance fair, and a delightful set of characters make this a wonderful book.
Madeline “Gwen” Hathaway has worked the renaissance fair circuit with her parents for most of her life. Her mother passed away a year ago, and now it’s just her dad and her working the circuit. Now Madeline has decided that nothing more can change, because she can’t bear another loss, and she’s determined to keep it that way.
Madeline and her father return to the ren fair for the summer and realize the fair has new owners. And nothing is like it was before. She meets Authur, the son of the owners and he is determined to be her friend and called her Gwen, as she is his Guinevere. Eventually, Gwen realizes that change is ok and Arthur isn’t as bad as she first thought.
I love a good renaissance fair setting and I felt like I was at the fair with Gwen and Arthur. Gwen is stuck in her grief and needs help. Arthur isn’t the help she expected, but it turns out that he is the help she needs. Grief can be messy and everyone is different I thought the author did a wonderful job of handling this subject for the YA audience.
I enjoyed their slow-burn romance, loved both characters, and rooted for them during the entire book. I loved how Gwen and Arthur became friends first and then built on that friendship for something more. Arthur is a bit of a dork, and awkward at times, and that just endeared him to me.
I highly recommend The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway to anyone who enjoys young adult romance. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read The Rennaisance of Gwen Hathaway?
This one is high on my TBR! Glad to hear it was so good.
Oh I love the sound of this. A Renaissance Faire sounds like such a fun setting and I love that the book handles grief in such an honest way. Not enough books do that and especially not for young adults.
This sounds nice and I like the setting!
Even though I don’t read a lot of YA any more, I do love that Renaissance Faire setting! This sounds cute. 😀
I loved Arthur’s dads. If they were real, I’d ask them to adopt me 😂. That family just had it together and I like that. Excellent review!
I haven’t read this yet, but might give it a try. Glad you enjoyed it!
Wonderful review, Wendy. Gwen and Arthur sound adorable. I enjoy slow-burn romance and Arthur being a Dork sounds sweet. I also like the Ren Faire setting.
Sounds like a good read. I haven’t been to a renaissance fair in years!
I love the setting and didn’t realize this was young adult, Wonderful review!
What a great setting, I haven’tread anything with a ren fair.
I prefer slow-burn romances which I find more realistic than “I met you at lunch; let’s jump into bed after dinner.” I would like Arthur. Dorks can be great once you get over the shyness that is usually a part of it.
I like the renaissance fair setting. I read it in Well Met series but would love to read more books. Great review, Wendy!
Thank you, Yesha! Renaissance fairs are such fun settings for books
wow…this one sounds like it has so many fun elements to it. I really love the renaissance fair feel to it. So unique!
It’s really fun!
Glad you enjoyed this one! Arthur definitely was a dork but I think that is what made him the best!
I agree! His dorkiness is what made him special.
Dorky characters warm my heart too Wendy (maybe because I am a dork?🤷♀️). Wonderful review.
LOL! We’re all a bit dorky I think! 🙂
This does sound like a good ya read, great review 😊
Thank you, Jenny
A renaissance fair makes for a fun setting. Great review, Wendy🙂🙂
Thank you, Mallika!
Awesome review Wendy!💜💜
Thank you, Susan
I also have this book on my NG shelf and requested it specifically for the renaissance fair setting. Can’t say I’ve read one like that. Glad you enjoyed it, Wendy!
Thank you, Teri! I hope you enjoy it too!
Great review, Wendy!!
Thank you, Cindy
I’ve been waiting for your review on this! I’m so glad you enjoyed it
Thank you, Rae! it was a lot of fun
I defiintely need to read this one! Love a good Renaissance Fest setting.
It was a lot of fun! I hope you enjoy it if you can get to it.
Awww Gwen and Arthur 🥰 This sounds like a really lovely story. I love the renaissance fair setting and that it’s a slow-burn romance with the characters being friends first.
There is so much to love about this one.