She Walks in Beauty [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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She Walks in Beauty

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Overview

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.
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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

  • ISBN-13: 9781441207579
  • Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/2010
  • Series: Against All Expectations Collection , #3
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 2,551
  • File size: 573 KB

Meet the Author

Siri Mitchell, author of A Constant Heart and Love's Pursuit, has written six novels, two of which were named Christy finalists. A graduate from the University of Washington with a business degree, she has worked in many levels of government and lived on three continents. She and her family currently reside in the DC metro area.
Siri Mitchell is the author of nearly a dozen novels, among them the critically acclaimed Christy Award finalists Chateau of Echoes and The Cubicle Next Door. A graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in business, she has worked in many different levels of government. As a military spouse, she has lived in places as varied as Tokyo and Paris. Siri currently lives in the DC-metro area. Visit www.sirimitchell.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 157 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(67)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 157 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 25, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    WONDERFUL!!

    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.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautifully written

    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).

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful Story

    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.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    She Walks In Beauty By Siri Mitchell

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Gilded Age story hits far deeper than the average romance

    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.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Much loved book

    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.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    Not quite perfect

    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!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 8, 2014

    The story line was captivating, the characters well developed, a

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Makes you appreciate the era we live in. Very Interesting Read!

    This was such a beautiful book, beautifully written and and beautiful audible visual. I appreciate our time for women. Everything in those days was so cumbersome, and strict, RIGHT OR WRONG...What a relief to come back to our relaxed way of living after reading this. Makes you appreciate your life!! A must read!!!”

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2010

    AN AMAZING INSPIRATIONAL HISTORICAL FICTION DURING THE GILDED AGE OF 1800 NEW YORK CITY!

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    I've only read the sample...but

    Beautiful cover...sample has me hooked! :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    She Walks in Beauty

    This is Christian historical fiction set in New York in the late 1800s. Clara is pretty and smart, and would prefer to be left alone with her books and her governess, plus her best friend Lizzie. Unfortunately, her aunt has other ideas--Clara is going to debut this year. And since her governess thought they had another year before she'd have to teach Clara things like how to be a lady and exactly what an ice cream fork is...well, Clara's behind. REALLY behind.

    So now she has three months to learn how to charm any man into marrying her and she has to start wearing a corset. (And can I just say how relieved I am that I don't have to wear one? Because they do NOT sound fun.)

    Her aunt and her father decree that she's to set her sights on "the De Vries heir," the most eligible bachelor in the city. There are two problems with this. First is that Lizzie wants him too. And the second? Clara kind of likes his brother instead.

    I absolutely recommend this, even if you aren't a fan of Christian fiction (it's very, very light on the Christian aspect). And Clara is really awesome. I always enjoy reading about smart heroines who do more than wait around to get married. (And she's a reader, which is always a plus.)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    She Walks In Beauty

    Clara Carter thinks she has plenty of time to find a way out of her debut into New York Society. However, when the De Vries family heir becomes the eligible bachelor of the social season, Clara's aunt decides that she will debut this year and somehow manage to get the De Vries heir to propose to her. Bound by family loyalty and society's tradition, Clara attempts to do all that her father and aunt desire for her to. In the end, she must choose between family, love, money and hope.

    She Walks In Beauty is an enchanting story of one young woman's pursuit of love. But does she want the kind of love she is offered? Hard choices and learning family secrets have a way of making a person mature and that is exactly what happens to Clara in this book. The story is well-written and genuinely captures all of Clara Carter's emotions and experiences. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I appreciate the way the author worked in social issues of the time. Poor immigrant housing and the extreme measures that women would subject themselves to in order to be beautiful were two of the main issues. Those issues can still be considered relevant in our culture today.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 5, 2010

    Great Historical Fiction!

    iri Mitchell's lastest novel, She Walks In Beauty, is set during New York City's Gilded Age in 1891. It's a time in history where marriage was more of a business deal than act of love. Clara Carter is a 17 year old girl who is more interested in her education than becoming a debutant, but it seems her Aunt has a different plan. When Clara learns that she is to debut a year early to save the family honor, she knows she has no other choice. Clara becomes the star of the social season and is in competition with her best friend for the De Vries heir. She longs for true love and not one based on making better social connections. However, she is not sure whether she is worth that kind of luxury.

    When I began reading this book I wasn't sure if I would enjoy a historical fiction novel, but in the end I have found a new genre to love. Siri Mitchell does a great job of weaving the love of God through the story of a young woman who has very little choice about her future. Mitchell also incorporated contemporary artists, poets and authors into her novel, and that gave a depth to what was going on in the Gilded Age. I got so lost in the story that I didn't put it down until it was finished, and even then I wish the story did not end.

    This book was provided for free for review by Bethany House Publishers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    Very Entertaining

    Set in the 1890s, during the Gilded Age.

    Clara Carter and Lizzie Barnes, both barely 17, are best friends, have been all their lives. Their mothers were friends, until Clara's mother dies. Clara's aunt, and Lizzie's mother decide that each girl should be presented to society, by debuting a year early, in hopes that they snare the heir of the De Vries fortune as their husband. This puts Clara and Lizzie as rivals, and both the aunt and mother try to keep them separated, though it doesn't always work. Clara meets Franklin De Vries the heir, and his younger brother, Henry. She and Lizzie are the two Debutantes who attract a lot of attention, including Franklin, and both are pushed to entice Franklin to choose them. Who will he choose? And does Clara really want him to choose her.
    Along the way, Clara learns much about herself, her mother who died when she was very young, and the father who turns out to be nothing like what she always thought he was. The subplot is very interesting, and it made the whole book.

    Bethany House Publishers
    392 pages
    I received a free copy of this book from Bethany House to read and review, no other compensation was received. I am not required to write a favorable review, all opinions expressed here are my own.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Beautiful Novel by a Fanstastic Author!

    There are just some books that grab a hold you on the very first word. Grabs you with the beauty of the words, the lyrics of the characters and the tapestry of the era.
    I felt like I stepped into the 19th century. The novel was so well researched down to the very intricate of details. I learned things about that era I had never known before, all while it pertained to the story and the character's lives.
    I have nothing negative to say about this book. It follows the life of one debutante, Clara, as she enters her first season and her family is set on getting her the wealthiest husband. The moral, health and faith issues that surround this young woman, who has to go through so many changes, clenched at my heart and I longed to see her happy.
    I found some of the customs astonishing that Clara was put through, all to be beautiful and I believe that the overwhelming message in this novel is that beauty is only skin deep. It is what is in the heart that matters.
    A truly marvelous novel, I highly recommend it and have added it to my best of 2010 list and my favorites of all time!
    This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Fantastic Fiction of any kind.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    This historical fiction piece is as beautiful to read as it is to imagine. The author transports you to a time where women's roles were designed by society and not by personal choice. This love story warms the heart while educating one on the past.

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 15, 2010

    Outstanding American Fiction

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2014

    Excellent

    Excellent read! The plot, the characters, everything was just amazing! This story was too cute!! Will definitely be reading more from this author!

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