Thursday, 13 March 2014
Review: She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell
It was the title of this novel that first drew me to it; in my mind anything that quotes Byron must be good! The characterisation was a tad stereotypical; overbearing aunt, absent father, best friend turned love rival etc, but this didn't detract from the story. Told entirely from Clara's point of view, you get a sense of how constricted she was- both in terms of how she had to behave and how tight her corset was- and I only wish that she'd had the guts to say 'no' sooner. The glittering world of opera houses and ballrooms becomes the platform that can make or break a socialite's career, and it is an era that I love reading about, although it is made pretty clear throughout the book that 'all that glitters is not gold.' This setting, along with the novel's overriding themes of social convention and propriety reminded me very much of Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence, with Newland Archer's yearning to be free mirroring Clara's plight.
4/5 stars: the story of a reluctant debutante thrown into high society, determined to make a life for herself outside of social convention.
This book is available for FREE on Amazon kindle, and was read as part of the Clean Out Your e-Reader Challenge 2014.