Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Beautiful Novel

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

She Walks in Beauty
Bethany House (April 2010)

Siri Mitchell

Siri Mitchell graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and worked in various levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived all over the world, including in Paris and Tokyo. Siri enjoys observing and learning from different cultures. She is fluent in French and loves sushi.

But she is also a member of a strange breed of people called novelists. When they’re listening to a sermon and taking notes, chances are, they’ve just had a great idea for a plot or a dialogue. If they nod in response to a really profound statement, they’re probably thinking, “Yes. Right. That’s exactly what my character needs to hear.” When they edit their manuscripts, they laugh at the funny parts. And cry at the sad parts. Sometimes they even talk to their characters.

Siri wrote 4 books and accumulated 153 rejections before signing with a publisher. In the process, she saw the bottoms of more pints of Ben & Jerry’s than she cares to admit. At various times she has vowed never to write another word again. Ever. She has gone on writing strikes and even stooped to threatening her manuscripts with the shredder.

For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city's most eligible bachelor.

Debuting means plenty of work--there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity's spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.

Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries.

When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it's not just her marriage at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

If you would like to read the first chapter of She Walks in Beauty, go HERE.

Siri Mitchell has authored a novel which I consider to be historical Christian fiction at its absolute finest! From the beautiful cover through every page I turned, I was transported to the Victorian era of the early 1900s. What a different world it was then. The beauty and pageantry of balls and the coming out season is depicted both in its loveliness and its shortcomings. You'll weep over her still-tender emotional scars as Clara prepares to make the transition to womanhood, longing for her long-dead mother's guidance and her indifferent father's approval and affection. You'll gasp (and hold your stomach in!) as she is tightly laced into her first corset, which she must wear 24 hours/day to shrink her stomach to 18 inches. You'll wince as she and her best friend are thrust into competition by Clara's aunt and Lizzie's mother in an effort to win the coveted attention of the wealthy bachelor Franklin DeVries. And you'll ache as Clara muses,
What if, as Mama had said, God loved us just as we were? What if He loved me? Without affectation or pretension? Without corsets or hoop skirts? What if He didn't care whether I knew how to cut someone or if I had mastered the waltz? Just the thought of it, the notion of it, threatened to undo me. For a love such as that would be an unthinkable extravagance. And if I could believe God loved me in that way . . .why, it would change everything! (p. 340)

Will Clara discover this "unthinkable extravagance" for herself? Or will she be molded by society's demands? I was spellbound from the first sentence until the very last word of this wonderful novel. I highly recommend it.


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1 comment:

Cathy said...

That sounds really good Linda.