She Walks in Beauty

She Walks in Beauty

4.0 159
by Siri Mitchell

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For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage in the late 1890s, 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…  See more details below


For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage in the late 1890s, 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 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 heart at stake--the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Mitchell (Love’s Pursuit) sets her newest historical in Gilded Age New York, an opulent time and place when marrow spoons and exceedingly tight corsets were in vogue among the moneyed. The motherless Clara Carter is making her debut in society, and her aunt and her physician father expect her to win the hand of Franklin DeVries, the wealthiest catch of the season. Clara’s best friend Lizzie is also aiming for DeVries, and Clara is caught between duty, friendship, and her own desires, which tend more toward Byron’s poetry than bombazine hats. Mitchell’s story is well researched, with fascinating details, and Clara is a complex character. The plot machinery creaks loudly at points: three overheard conversations is at least one too many. A social consciousness plot thread dealing with New York’s slums is weak. But those who love historicals can have their fill as well as any debutante supping on oysters and clutching her filled dance card; Mitchell delivers the historical goods. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—The Gilded Age, in all its opulence, comes to life through Clara's eyes as she makes her debut into New York society in the 1890s. Molded primarily by her aunt, the 17-year-old begins her debutante preparation with much trepidation. The more rigorous the process becomes, the more disillusioned she becomes. She sees through the ambition of her fellow debs and their parents and witnesses the hypocrisy of her own wealthy family. They attend church every Sunday, but only to see and be seen. Mitchell ably transports readers to late-19th-century society, a place of extravagance and poverty. Clara's frustrations with her position are well realized. Clara does find an equal in a young man who actually listens to the sermon on Sunday, and he tells her that God loves her just as she is. The story itself plods along, getting mired down in the myriad parties and dress discussions. Despite these criticisms, teens will probably enjoy Clara's glittery world of romance. References to Christianity, such as hymns and traditions, are sprinkled throughout. For readers seeking an alternative to "The Clique" and "Gossip Girl" titles or those who enjoyed "The Luxe," this novel satisfies.—Hilary Writt, Sullivan University, Lexington, KY

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Product Details

Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
Against All Expectations Collection , #3
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Barnes & Noble
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3 MB

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She Walks in Beauty 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 159 reviews.
LCH47 More than 1 year ago
This is a lush view of the Gilded Age New York in the 1800s. Clara is a bright, intelligent young woman who dreams of going to Vassar College. She is informed by her father and aunt that it is her responsibility to marry the De Vries heir, Franklin, to set right the wrongs done by his family twenty years ago. Clara would much rather spend her time with her nose in a book, reading Byron's poetry or learning about science and interesting worldly matters than to have an eighteen inch waist and know proper etiquette, but she feels she must not go against her father's wishes. Thrown into the opulent world of upper class New York, she finds herself going from one party to the next and forced to second guess her lifelong friendship with Lizzie who also has her heart set on Franklin. The more she is exposed to the luxury, the more she starts to question value when measured against the plight of poor immigrants. The rich pay to keep their facade of respectability while the poor suffer such humiliation just to survive. Clara's beautiful heart, dignity and thirst for knowledge carry her through as she desires more in life than a marriage of convenience. This story is the perfect combination of romance, faith, suspense and great humor. It truly has something in it for everyone...The reader will soon be transported back into a beautiful and amazing era of life full of lush parties, scrumptious gowns and lots of PROPER ETTIQUETTE. WONDERFUL!!! Other exciting books I've fallen in love with are: CONSTANT HEART, SILENT IN THE SANCTUARY, EXPLOSION IN PARIS, and HEART OF THE MATTER.
Sensitivemuse More than 1 year ago
All I have to say is, wow. This book was really good! from the start I was interested in Clara, and had taken an instant liking to her. The plot was a nice easy pace that flowed smoothly and descriptions and detailed scenes as to what Clara had to go through to act properly during her debut were well done and very engaging to read. Her social outings were well written and every time one ended, I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen at the next party or dinner she attended. Her social "training" was comical to read at times and some of her social blunders made you want to cringe for her (like when she lost her shoe). Yet aside from those light moments, there were serious moments as well. I didn't like her Aunt who treated her like a chess piece, and although Clara's father wasn't really a main character, when I learnt more of his true colors, he wasn't a very likable person at all. It was very interesting to read about the various rules women and men had to go by in order to go about in society. Some rules I found absolutely ridiculous, yet some had very awful consequences (tightlacing corsets for example). I really did like how Clara developed as a character. From a very naive girl to one who just wanted to be who she wanted to be, and to do what she wanted to do. She wasn't afraid of the social consequences and at times was brave enough to do something that went against the conventional rules. I also loved her friendship with Lizzie. Although they were "rivals" in their debuts, it was sad to see how they were pawns to their relatives and were even sometimes asked to turn against each other in order to have the greater advantage in attracting Mr De Vries. However I'm glad their friendship meant much more to them and it was just wonderful to read how the two of them got along so well despite social pressures. I actually wanted to learn more about Clara and her mother, although when Clara finds out what happens to her mother, it was actually quite horrifying to read. (I can't really be specific, it'll give the plot away). Albeit a novel in Christian fiction, there isn't much about God and theology so it's not preachy. Which makes the novel great for those that aren't into the Christian fiction genre. It certainly seemed to lean towards historical romance much more than Christian literature. The plot does become a little predictable, but that did not bother me, I was too engaged into the plot. Overall, a wonderful, beautiful read. I greatly enjoyed it and for those that love to read about America in the 1890's please give this a try (actually, for those that like The Luxe series, this is definitely for you - no backstabbing involved here though but just enjoy it nevertheless).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
First, let me say that I really enjoyed the story. However, I was amazed by the typos that so frequently disfigured the first few words of each chapter, where they were printed in all caps to make them completely unavoidable. Keep the author. Fire the proofreader!
devasha More than 1 year ago
I love a book that not only captures my imagination, but expands my knowledge of times past. She Walks in Beauty did just that. Clara Carter is a beautiful young debutante in New York's luxurious Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century. Her sole purpose is to secure a marriage proposal by the end of her debut season, but not just any proposal. Her family has decided that she is to marry the most sought-after heir in New York. With her fate settled and her waist being constricted with a corset, Clara is whisked into ballrooms, operas, and dinner parties. The heart can't be commanded, however, and Clara soon realizes that marriage for love is far more worthy than a marriage for the sake of money and good standing. Her future lies in the balance of romance and convenience. I thoroughly enjoyed She Walks in Beauty. I often read it during my breaks at work and was always disappointed when I had to put it down. I learned much about the Gilded Age, a period of American history that I was largely unfamiliar with. The Gilded Age was the beginning of celebrity obsession, and to read the story of a beautiful young debutante who loathed the attention was fascinating. I often have a hard time truly enjoying historical fiction, but this book was fabulous. Pick up a copy and be whisked back to another time. I was provided a copy of She Walks in Beauty by Bethany House Publishers in exchange for my review.
WendiB More than 1 year ago
She Walks In Beauty By Siri Mitchell Published by Bethany House Set in New York City in 1891, an unsuspecting and unprepared young woman is thrust into the public eye; one of several young ladies making a debut that season. The goal? To catch and marry the wealthiest heir, by any means necessary. There are rules, but some rules are meant to be broken. There are friendships, but all is fair in love and war. isn't it? In a time when young women were discouraged from educating themselves in anything other than social manipulation and the pursuit of the highest possible status (via marriage), Clara Carter finds herself in a completely undesirable environment. With no options and no permissible voice of her own, she becomes a pawn in a game larger than she could ever imagine. A phenomenal piece of historical fiction, She Walks In Beauty is a tragic reminder of our societal past. Mitchell writes with exquisite detail, passion and clarity drawing the reader into every moment of her young heroines life. This is one book I could not put down, devouring all 392 pages in less than a day. I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.
Danny_R22 More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful read and I enjoyed every second of it. I found at times that I couldn't keep a smile of my face at some of the things that would happen in the book. I really couldn't put this book down and didn't want it to end. This is a must read and I recommend it to everyone. Sometimes I wish I could go to such exciting balls and dinner parties. It was easy to escape into the world of these pages.
ChristysBookBlog More than 1 year ago
She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell is a lush yet realistic view of Gilded Age New York. Clara Carter has been informed by her father and aunt that it is her responsibility to marry the De Vries heir, Franklin, to right wrongs done by his family twenty years ago. Clara would much rather spend her time with her nose in a book of Byron's poetry or learning about science and the world than have an eighteen inch waist and know the difference between a lettuce fork and a lemon fork, but she feels helpless to go against her father's will. Thrown into the lushly opulent world of upper class New York, she finds herself going from one party to the next and forced to second guess her lifelong friendship with Lizzie who also has her heart set on Franklin. The more she is exposed to the luxury, the more she starts to question its value when seen against the plight of immigrants. Mitchell perfectly depicts this era in New York, where the rich pay to keep their veneer of respectability while the poor are forced to suffer ever deeper humiliations to survive. Clara's beautiful heart carries her through, and readers will find themselves falling in love with her dignity and desire for something more than a marriage of convenience. There are a few too plot contrivances that don't quite work (three overheard conversations in one novel pushes believability), but for the most part, readers won't be able to put down this story of romance, integrity, and hope.
rmlo More than 1 year ago
The story line was captivating, the characters well developed, and I feel it really showed the challenges of this time period and what different individuals did to overcome them.  I couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book reminds me of the classics I love like EMMA, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre. etc.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only have one complaint, for some reason each time a new chapter started there was at least one incorrect spelling. It was just odd. However, overall the book was good. Truly the love of money is the root of all evil. Also, it teaches that true love exist. Nicely done and I recommend it.
Tiffani Freeman More than 1 year ago
Beautiful cover...sample has me hooked! :)
AAR More than 1 year ago
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY bySiri Mitchell is an Inspirational historical fiction set in 1891 New York City during the Gilded Age.It is well written with great detail and depth. It has deception,keeping ones faith, forgiveness, romance, wealth, privilege,friendship, fashion, finding ones true self,desires of the heart and family obligations. It gives insight into the social class of the Gilded Age. Clara is bright, intelligent, pretty, passionate,and is a pawn in her father and aunt's game to right a wrong to their family.She is having her debut into society and is being forced to marry the heir to a banking kingdom. She does not realize the deception until after her father is dead. She would sacrifice her heart to help her family, but soon realizes she can not do what they expect of her. Franklin, the heir to the famous De Vries fortune, is selfish, arrogant, a womanizer, and Clara does not like him every much. Harry, is the youngest of the De Vries's son, he is friendly, handsome, down to earth, and Clara finds herself attracted to him. Lizzie, Clara's friend, finds herself attracted to Franklin, Lizzie enjoys the social scene where as Clara only endures it. They have their friendship tested because both of their families want the young women to marry the famous heir Franklin. This is truly an insight into our tragic Gilded Age history with all its glamor, parties, beautiful gowns and injustices to the lower social class. What women did back then to be beautiful will make you wonder why beauty was so important to the upper social class. If you enjoy the Gilded Age of 1800 New York City you will enjoy this one, for it has drama, injustice, glamor,beautiful balls and gowns. This book was received for review and details can be found at Bethany House Publishers and My Book Addiction and More.
howesew More than 1 year ago
Whether you are a fan of Christian Fiction or not, this is a great read! I couldn't put it down! Siri is great at revealing the daily lives of her characters. Although I had read about tight lacing and the problems it caused, Siri shows how it truly affected women of the time. Siri's characters are very real. She portrays the non-conformist so that they feel real and her heroine's trials become my own. Siri, I can't wait to see what woman's beauty torture you have to show us next! Makes me wonder what future women will think about waxing, liposuction, etc.
Zag4ever More than 1 year ago
If you like historical pieces with a genuine love story intertwined then this is the book for you. It is a wonderfully compassionate but accurate piece on the meaning of true love and relationships we all establish to find it. This story fills your mind with beautiful images of grand balls and debutantes of days gone by but not omitting the dark side of every families intentions. True love is what inherently we all want no matter what generation we are from. Also, the author bridges the gap between earthly relationships and the one we have with God. She does it eloquently, symbolically, and even very directly at times. This is a love story for many to enjoy from young to old alike.
RachelHauck60 More than 1 year ago
Admittedly, I've been a long time fan of Siri Mitchell's writing, but this book is her best, most captivating yet! I was completely drawn-in, becoming a member of New York's gilded society of the 1890s, savoring each page, soaking in every word, sighing with contentment as the story ended. (Though, I wished more and more pages followed!) As in her previous novels, Mitchell completely captures the tone, feel, and language of the age. She weaves true social issues seamlessly into the plot while creating true-to-life fictional characters. If you love great fiction, love a picturesque look into history through the lens of story, read Siri Mitchell. I highly recommend this book.
Mommysarcasm More than 1 year ago
This was a fantastic book! I enjoyed the look into the life of a debutante and the will of this young lady to endure the rise and fall in society.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent read! The plot, the characters, everything was just amazing! This story was too cute!! Will definitely be reading more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book takes you on an emotional roller coaster as you follow the life of a girl making her debut into society. It opens your eyes to the lengths of what women would do for fashion and attention during the guilded age of the 1890s in New York City. It also touches on the dark side of the city and what some people feel they must resort to in order to be rich and remain in the life of luxury. Good read and not your normal romance. 320 pages
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice read. Gives a little bit of insight into the debutante scene of the 1880's. Ending was pretty predictable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago