She Walks in Beauty
by: Siri Mitchell
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Rating 3.5 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
I loved this little gem that I found when looking for free books for my kindle. It is a sweet book about a girl who is being dragged kicking and screaming onto the social scene. She would must prefer to spend her time reading than learning the latest dance.
Rather than focus on romance as most historical novels seem to do this focused a lot more on the fashion aspect. A particular point in the novel is the use of the corset and the battle all women go through to try and achieve the perfect 16 inch waist. Now obviously we know the dangers that are associated with the corset but at the time this was written they had been suspected but weren't viewed as a serious threat. Also we see the beginnings of American stardom and the paparazzi beginning to take to the scene.
It claims to be a Christian fiction but in reality it really wasn't much of a point in the novel at all except for the fact that it was clean, and the main characters went to church a few times (in order to be seen by society).
All in all it was very well researched, decently written (if a little formulaic) and I related to Clara. It is a very fun read that still has some substance.