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


  1. The cover art is GORGEOUS! The review is lovely, too. :)

  2. Yes, I absolutely adore the cover and the book! Who says not to judge a book by its cover? And thank you!