Title: A Beauty So Rare
Author: Tamera Alexander
Series: Belmont Mansion #2
~ MY REVIEW ~
A Beauty So Rare is a second Belmont Mansion novel, the first being A Lasting Impression. It can also be connected to the one Belle Meade Plantation novel, To Whisper Her Name.
In A Beauty So Rare, Tamera Alexander weaves together a poignant story set in the recuperating days that came after the War Between the States. There’s the tall, “plain”, former nurse volunteer, who thinks she’s an old maid and will never marry … a fact which she’s actually somewhat relieved with, since she’s afraid of losing someone she deeply loved. There’s the delusional father whose mind is quickly fading away, and he blames the loss of his son on his devoted daughter. There’s an archduke from Austria, who is in Nashville as an architect and also a botanist. There’s the well-known aunt who’s considered “American royalty” and owns Belmont Mansion. There are poor widows and destitute children. A handkerchief filled with rose petals, and a woman with a love for baking and cooking. And a God-directed plan weaving through all the unexpected turns of life.
While the story was worthwhile in the end, this book did take a while to really capture my interest. It could have been the dialogue, or perhaps the details of Archduke Marcus’s botany experiments. Either way, A Beauty So Rare didn’t really pick up for me until almost halfway through the book.
I did love the theme of the story … it is better to have loved for a short period of time, then to have never loved at all. I like how the handkerchief tied in with Eleanor’s fears being relieved, and how everything settled so beautifully in the end. Live God’s plans for you; don’t hide in the shadows of fear and anxiousness! It was a good lesson woven nicely through the story. It also had themes of forgiveness, redemption, renewal, and trust.
So while I didn’t enjoy A Beauty So Rare as much as A Lasting Impression and To Whisper Her Name, it was still a touching tale filled with beauty and second chances.