Saturday, October 29, 2011

Book Review: "She Walks in Beauty" by Siri Mitchell

Debutante balls, handsome bachelors, fancy dresses, and...corsets? Seventeen-year-old Clara Carter's world is about to change when her aunt makes the decision that Clara is going to make her debut into New York's opulent society--a year early. It doesn't matter that Clara would rather read Byron than make small talk or study Latin rather than the flirtatious language of the fan. Her aunt is bound and determined to make Clara the belle of the season, because there's a certain dashing heir in need of catching and the Carter family honor that needs to be restored.

"She Walks in Beauty" by Siri Mitchell is set during the Gilded Age of New York City, when a young woman's looks, money, and social graces determine how worthy she is in society. Especially her looks. Sound familiar? Clara's world is scarily similar to our own. The young women in the story are pressured to do anything they can to conform to society's image of beauty, often to the cost of their health.

Clara is sweet and intelligent but naive when it comes to people. Several times in the story I wanted to shake the girl for being so blind to the obvious. However, it's Clara's innocence that also makes her such an endearing character. She has a whole cast of characters who help her throughout her journey: her loyal best friend, Lizzie, who is also her competition; her misguided but well-meaning Aunt; a cynical newspaperman with a secret; and an awkward yet loveable young man whom she is forbidden to form an attachment to.

Clara's personal growth and interactions with the people and circumstances around her is sometimes painful and sometimes humorous, but through it all, I'd say Clara is young woman who learns what it means to truly walk in beauty.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Ages: 15 and up
Pages: 392
Publication Date: April 2010

Welcome to My Story Shelf!

Thank you so much for stopping by! This blog is going to be mainly for book reviews and anything else pertaining to stories in general. I know that spectrum is quite broad, but that's what makes it fun! So please visit often because you never know what you'll find here.

Whenever I read a blog, I like to know a little about its author, so here's a short list about me:

1. I love God, people, and story.

2. Beauty is the lens through which I view life. Yes, I am an optimist. ;)

3.  I've been a bookworm since I learned how to read. If I go too long without reading I have withdrawls like some people crave chocolate. (I do crave chocolate as well!)

4. I also love to write, so there may be some of my pieces on this blog from time to time.

5. Music is always interwined with any story I read or write.

6. I like to know the origins of things. For example, the meanings of names, the origins of a certain word, etc.

7. I love history.

8. A really good story would have a strong storyline and strong characters, but if I had to pick between the two, I would want a story to have good, strong characters that I can truly care about rather than a good story with weak characters.

9. I like food. Wait...scratch that--I love food! So expect some posts involving food on here. Why? Because it's fun, and I don't know anyone who doesn't like food!

10. I believe the random things in life can be the most fun. So expect some randomness and fun!

On that note, did you know that the term "Good bye" comes from the phrase "God be with (ye)you"?

So...God be with you! :-)