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Friday, April 09, 2010

She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell is up on CFBA, plus bonus review!

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.

My review:

I have been a fan of Siri Mitchell's since she wrote her first book. I've read every novel she has written since. Though I've loved many, I'm exceptionally attached to this one. The Gilded Age is something I've read about but never enjoyed in a novel. Siri brought this portion of history to life. She did an awesome job at showing the way high class society (at the time) viewed a woman's role, and the suffering that went into what was perceived as beautiful at that time.

I loved how the author made me experience the pain and discomfort of the corset. I always thought it barbaric and sheer torture like foot binding, but I never realized that women had to actually keep them on all the time. I couldn't imagine! I also loved how she brought faith into this novel in a completely authentic manner. It was a core part of Clara's search for meaning and I loved how this came out in the story. I also loved how Clara was an idealist despite her father's crooked ways. I found it believable how much Clara deplored her father's business practices and because of that, she determined to live an honest life.

Every time I read a book Siri has written I learn something new. This story was no exception. I found it to be very romantic and satisfying. I was firmly entrenched in the culture the entire time that I read this book. I adored the way the story ended as well. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone, but especially to teen girls dealing with issues of vanity and fashion as part of their age group's norms. Young ladies today aren't that much different than Clara, except that in Clara's case, the pressure came from the family and the culture. Modern young ladies put the pressure on themselves. The parallels are still impressive and that makes this book an excellent tool for inspiring young women. I loved, loved, loved it!

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