Saturday, April 12, 2014

A story so rich -- A Beauty So Rare

In A Beauty So Rare Tamera Alexander shows again her true talent for telling a rich story, filled with vibrant characters and set in such a way that you are drawn right into the time and place of the events.  She takes real historical figures and locations and weaves them seamlessly into a beautiful work of fiction.

In this second Belmont Mansion novel (check out my review of the first book), Tamera takes us back into post-Civil War Nashville, Tennessee, to the real-life home of Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America at the time.  Eleanor Braddock is much more than Adelicia's niece.  She is a strong woman with a very open and giving heart, intent on using her talents to make the world a better place for people who could never dream of living in a world like the one at Belmont.

Eleanor, Marcus, and so many other minor characters drive this beautiful story of love, compassion, and finding your place in God's plan --whether coming from the lowest places on society's ladder or the highest pinnacle of wealth and power.  For almost 500 pages (which didn't seem that long at all), I felt like I was sharing in Eleanor's love of cooking for others, Marcus's botanical and architectural dreams, and the many ways the other characters did their own part to make the world a better place -- even against strong obstacles. 

And Eleanor's recipes that Tamera has shared through social media provide a nice bonus to a great story.  (Check out one of her recipes.)

Thanks to Bethany House and Tamera Alexander for providing a copy of this awesome book in exchange for my honest review.

(Here are a couple of links to earlier posts where I shared the book trailer and a chance to read an excerpt of A Beauty So Rare, as well as Tamera's inspiration for the story.)

About the book (from the publisher):

Eleanor Braddock—plain, practical, no stunning Southern beauty—knows she will never marry. But with a dying soldier’s last whisper, she believes her life can still have meaning and determines to find his widow. Impoverished and struggling to care for her ailing father, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion, home of her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America—and possibly the most demanding, as well. Adelicia insists on finding her niece a husband, but a simple act of kindness leads Eleanor down a far different path—building a home for destitute widows and fatherless children from the Civil War. While Eleanor knows her own heart, she also knows her aunt will never approve of this endeavor. 
Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life he determines, instead of one determined for him. Hiding his royal heritage, Marcus longs to combine his passion for nature with his expertise in architecture, but his plans to incorporate natural beauty into the design of the widows’ and children’s home run contrary to Eleanor’s wishes. As work on the home draws them closer together, Marcus and Eleanor find common ground—and a love neither of them expects.

But Marcus is not the man Adelicia has chosen for Eleanor, and even if he were, someone who knows his secrets is about to reveal them all.

From the USA Today bestselling author of To Whisper Her Name and A Lasting Impression comes a moving historical novel about a bold young woman drawn to a group of people forgotten by Nashville society--and to the one man with whom she has no business falling in love.

About the Author
 Tamera Alexander is the USA Today bestselling author of numerous books, including A Lasting Impression, A Beauty So Rare, To Whisper Her Name, and From a Distance. Her richly drawn characters and thought-provoking plots have earned her devoted readers worldwide, as well as multiple industry awards.
These awards include two Christy Awards for Excellence in Christian fiction, two RITA awards for Best Inspirational Romance, three Gayle Wilson Awards of Excellence, two Bookseller’s Best Awards, and being listed among Library Journal’s Top Christian Fiction, among others. 
After living in Colorado for seventeen years, Tamera has returned to her Southern roots. She and her husband now make their home in Nashville where they enjoy life with their two adult children who live nearby, and Jack, a precious—and precocious—silky terrier.


1 comment:

  1. Loved your review Pam! I too found the characters to be unforgettable. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and sharing that your daughter has chiari with me. I hope we can continue to stay connected!