Monday, November 14, 2016

TLC Book Tours Book Review: Beauty and Attention

About Beauty and Attention

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 25, 2016)
The riveting story of one brave young woman’s struggle to free herself from a web of deceit.
For misfit Libby Archer, social expectations for young women in Rochester, New York, in the mid-1950s don’t work. Her father has died, leaving her without parents, and her well-meaning friends are pressuring her to do what any sensible single girl must do: marry a passionate, persistent hometown suitor with a promising future. Yet Libby boldly defies conventional wisdom and plans to delay marriage—to anyone—by departing for her uncle’s Belfast estate. In Ireland, Libby seeks not only the comfort of family but also greater opportunities than seem possible during the stifling McCarthy era at home.
Across the Atlantic, Libby finds common ground with her brilliant, invalid cousin, Lazarus, then puts her trust in a sophisticated older woman who seems to be everything she hopes to become. Fraught with betrayal and long-kept secrets, as well as sudden wealth and unexpected love, Libby’s journey toward independence takes turns she never could have predicted—and calls on courage and strength she never knew she had.
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Review: This book made me think of the Masterpiece Series on PBS.  Its a shame it wasn't a little longer because I really could see it, maybe as a one of thing.

I didn't realize that it was a retelling of Henry James' Portrait of A Lady until I had finished it. (Not that I ever would have known because I'm not a reader of the classics, no matter how much I try)

Libby is young woman in the 50's who finds herself alone after the death of her father. I'm not sure why they used the term orphaned, since Libby was an adult.

She wants to find herself, so to speak, before doing what was expected of her, though I have to say, I felt bad for Casper. I kind of felt she treated him rather poorly. However, I think had I been in her place, I would have wanted to see something of the world before settling down, and not many women in the 50s would have a chance to stay with family in Europe.

Because of the length of the novel (just a little over 200 pages) I felt that the characters could have been developed a bit more. The only character I found that had spunk was Libby's friend Henrietta.

This was a dramatic book, but the events in Libby's life got separated and seemed disconnected at times...You'd jump from one part of her life and then suddenly you'd be months ahead.

This was an enjoyable read, but I found myself wishing it were a little bit longer so that you could fill in the gaps.

Rating: 4 flowers

About Liz Rosenberg

The author of more than thirty books for adults and young readers, Liz Rosenberg has published three bestselling novels, including The Laws of Gravityand The Moonlight Palace. She has also written five books of poems, among them 2008’s Demon Love, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and After Great Grief, forthcoming from the Provincetown Arts Press. Her poems have been heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Rosenberg’s books for young readers have won numerous awards and honors and have been featured on the PBS television show Reading Rainbow. A former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Rosenberg teaches English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Binghamton with her daughter, Lily, and a shih tzu named Sophie. Although she has homes in New York and North Chatham, Massachusetts, her heart is still in Ireland.


Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

This sounds so good, I'm putting together next years reading list and this is going to be on it. Lovely review. I'm glad that you liked the story to much that you wished it was longer.

-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

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