"She Walks in Beauty"

"She Walks in Beauty"
by Siri Mitchell

Source: provided for review by Bethany House Publishers

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

My Review:

Clara Carter has no desire to be a debutante in New York City at the height of the Gilded Age. At 17, she expected to have one more year of freedom before devoting her life to tedious balls, operas, and dinners, not to mention restrictive clothing. But her father and overbearing aunt force her to come out a year early in order to snag the covet-able DeVries heir. But as the season progresses, Clara finds herself questioning just what she "has" to do for her family and how much is her own choice. She questions even more when the younger DeVries son is the brother who catches her attention instead of the heir.

I loved the message of this book- be yourself! Sometimes, beauty has a very high price as does social popularity and power. I was happy to see the overall message of female empowerment in the book.

Sometimes, reading historical fiction, the reader gets the big picture, but some of the everyday details are left out. This book really helped me to see, in shocking detail, all of the aspects of daily life of the not quite so glamorous Gilded Age. A lot of times these details are overlooked and we only see the glitz and glamour. Poor Clara was squeezed into an extremely tight corset, shrinking her waist to 18 (!!) inches. She was even forced to wear gloves that were several sizes too small, all in order to catch a man.

And what a man Harry was! Always making awkward social mistakes, but always saying the right thing to support Clara. Harry would question why she should feel so hemmed in by society and her family, helping her to let go of the restrictions she had placed on herself.

The first part of the book is a lot of day to day descriptions of a debutante's life. The real story with all of it's twists and turns gets started in the second half. I absolutely flew through the last half of the story!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5

Setting: 5/5 (I love to read historicals set in America, they seem rare)

Romance: 5/5
Uniqueness: 5/5 (I read a lot of historicals and I learned so many new things)
Cover: 5/5 (absolutely gorgeous, you should see the back cover as well)

Writing: 5/5



Bottom Line:
I can't say enough how much I love the message of this book. Even though it's about the Gilded Age, you can see mirrors to our society today. We can still learn from our past and remind ourselves not to pay such a high cost for beauty or to cave to the demands that society puts on us, especially on women.

25 comments:

Tiger Holland said...

Sounds great! I too, love Gilded Age stories and debutante-related anything tends to be a fascinating social study. So this is more of an adult historical than a YA?

Diana Dang said...

The cover is GORGEOUS! My god, I love her model and the attire! I think I would've read the novel simply for the cover! Great review!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks for reading my review, Tiger!! Yes, this one is technically adult historical, but I really think it would appeal to YA readers, especially since Clara is 17.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks, Diana!! I love the cover too!! Even the back cover is beautiful!

Teresa said...

This sounds pretty good. I've already added it to my ever growing TBR list. Thanks for the review.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks, Teresa! I think you'll enjoy it!!

John The Bookworm said...

It looks intriguing. I haven't read anything published by Bethany House. Aren't they a Christian-based publisher?

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Hi John! Yes, Bethany House is a Christian publisher!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Sounds good. I have this one waiting for me to read. :)

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I think you'll enjoy it, Sheila!

Christie (The Fiction Enthusiast) said...

This one sounds really good. I seem to be on a historical kick lately. It’s a newish genre for me, but I’m hooked.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Christie, I love anything historical!! It's easy to get hooked :)

Blodeuedd said...

5s all around, lovely to hear, I just think the cover looks so, just so nice :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Ooooooo I want to read this now. Thank you for the review. I'm rushing to GR to add it to my TBR list :)

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

Sounds like it was a fab read! I loved the cover!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Great review. I really want to read this one :)

Allison said...

The cover of this book is absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for the review, I'm definitely adding this to the TBR.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

I'm so happy so many of you are adding this one to your to read list! It's worth it!

Blodeuedd, it's definitely a 5 star read!!

Juju, I think you will love it! Can't wait to hear what you think!

Felicia, isn't the cover fantastic!?

Thanks, Julia! I really think you'll enjoy it!

Allison, The inside is as beautiful as the outside on this one :) Thanks for reading my review!

Connie said...

This sounds really good, and the other commenters are right: the cover sets such a wonderful mood.

Great review!

Cheers,
-Connie @ Constance Reader

InABox said...

I'm reading this right now and really enjoying it. I'm glad you liked it!

Simcha said...

This sounds like a great book. Thanks for the review!

Darlyn said...

i read a few reviews on GR in i think it's awesome too!

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thank you, Connie!!

InaBox, I hope you like it as much as I did!

Simcha, thanks for reading my review!

Darlyn, I think you will like it!!

PK Reeves said...

Thanks Carrie!

Another one to add to my MUST HAVE LIST. I will go to Indigo. Your 5 star rating is the only reason that will get me to buy another book despite my quasi book ban for JUNE 2010. Heck I spend way too much on books ;)

PK Reeves
Aisle B

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Thanks, PK! this is worth lifting your ban!!

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