Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Fallen Beauty

By Amy Bromberg

Upstate New York, 1928. Laura Kelley and the man she loves sneak away from their judgmental town to attend a performance of the scandalous Ziegfeld Follies. But the dark consequences of their night of daring and delight reach far into the future...

That same evening, Bohemian poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her indulgent husband hold a wild party in their remote mountain estate, hoping to inspire her muse. Millay declares her wish for a new lover who will take her to unparalleled heights of passion and poetry, but for the first time, the man who responds will not bend completely to her will...

Two years later, Laura, an unwed seamstress struggling to support her daughter, and Millay, a woman fighting the passage of time, work together secretly to create costumes for Millay’s next grand tour. As their complex, often uneasy friendship develops amid growing local condemnation, each woman is forced to confront what it means to be a fallen woman…and to decide for herself what price she is willing to pay to live a full life. 
(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Erika develops her characters beautifully, using stunning description and emotions. Sometimes I liked Millay’s dangerous side, but other times she went too far and was a drama queen. She is definitely passionate, all right. On the surface, Millay seems to have it all, money, a successful writing career, a beautiful mansion, friends, parties galore, and just a grand old life. What she doesn’t have is the reciprocation of love from one man for whom her heart can’t stop beating. True love is ultimately what everyone wants. All of the other things in life mean nothing without it. In this sense, Millay is a fallen beauty.

Now, Laura has quite the opposite, ever-so-different life. Due to the outcome of a wildly romantic and carefree night, she has been shunned from her community, raising her daughter all on her own. She receives pity and dirty looks from the women of the community. She stays strong though, and ultimately takes a job offer that goes against all of her moral standards. If I was in her shoes, I don't think I'd have the courage that she has. Laura's story tugged at my heart, and she's another example of a fallen beauty.

Even though these two women are complete opposites, they bring something into the other's life that they desperately need. It’s almost like they complete one another.

While I did enjoy Erika’s previous two novels, Fallen Beauty by far is my favorite. Packed with intense emotions, the reader REALLY feels them. I promise you will devour it. For the entire duration of the novel I was sucked in. I think this is another one of my 2014 favorite reads.

Thanks to Penguin for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Erika Robuck:

1 comment:

Mary Eve said...

Love this cover! Thanks for review. Added to TBR.