I have long been a fan of Tamera Alexander and her stories. A Beauty So Rare held every element and reminder why I’m always so happy to read and recommend her books. The setting of this novel drew me in from the very start, the characters and their various pursuits committed my heart to them almost immediately, and the last page left me smiling. What more could a reader ask for?
We begin our journey with the determined heroine, Eleanor Braddock, at the very end of the Civil War in Tennessee. If you think her last battle is over, though, you’re about to be proven wrong. This young woman is not your average leading lady. It’s not her outward beauty and family’s notorious heritage that invites your admiration and respect, but her inner strength, her humble heart, and her passion for the people whose lives unexpectedly cross with hers.
I couldn’t help but love the people who surround Eleanor in this story either. The struggling widows and the orphans. Her ill father, whose dementia was sadly familiar as I have watched my own grandpa battle this mind-deteriorating disease. And especially Marcus, the Archduke from Austria, who has come to Nashville hiding his own secrets to pursue a dream his family does not approve of.
Fascinating fragments of history abound throughout, including the breathtaking Belmont Mansion, which still stands today. At times, the fiction blended so vividly into the facts that I felt like I was reading a true diary account of a bold young woman who challenged her community and the man who challenged her. The obstacles that thwart our fictional friends leave thought-provoking lessons for all of us.
Read an excerpt from A Beauty So Rare
Visit Tamera’s website
Watch this video on the Inspiration behind the novel
Amidst dangerous expectations, insecurities, misunderstandings, and surprising secrets, what I enjoyed most was the endearing friendship between Eleanor and Marcus. So often in my favorite books, sparks of tension and disagreement introduce the relationship. I liked the different approach the author took with these two. Their initial battle of wits sparks a rather adorable friendship instead. Every rose has its thorn, though, and their relationship is certainly tested as the story develops.
I believe this is Tamera’s lengthiest book to date. I will say that at moments I felt the story could have been condensed, but the added layers and depth did help paint a more realistic tale. Readers are given time to be acquainted with the thickening plot and before you know it, you’ll feel a part of the blossoming landscape surrounding Eleanor and Marcus and their budding friendship-against-the-odds.
A Beauty So Rare is a story readers will remember and undoubtedly return to read more than once.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the Bethany House publishers for my copy.
Tamera Alexander is a USA Today bestselling novelist whose works have been awarded and nominated for numerous industry-leading honors, including the Christy Award, the RITA Award, the Carol Award, and Library Journal’s top distinction, among others. After seventeen years in Colorado, Tamera and her husband have returned to their native South and live in Nashville, Tennessee, where they enjoy spending time with their two grown children, and a twelve pound Silky Terrier named Jack.
DON’T MISS THESE FUN EXTRAS:
–Read an excerpt from A Beauty So Rare.
–Visit Tamera Alexander’s website.
–Watch this video on the inspiration behind the novel.
–Check out the author’s Pinterest board for A Beauty So Rare.
—Meet the woman behind the cover dress.
–Check out the Photo Shoot for A Beauty So Rare.