After two and a half years of waiting, the release date finally arrived… A Beauty So Rare, book number two in Tamera Alexander’s Belmont Mansion series, was released in the spring of 2014 by Bethany House. Was it worth the wait? Without question, the answer is yes! Although set in the same Nashville location as the preceding story (A Lasting Impression), this novel depicts a separate storyline and unique host of characters, while offering glimpses of real historical events and people. Interestingly, the gap between three views of Nashville society are bridged within the story, including the elite and wealthy, the underprivileged and downtrodden, and the almost-separate world of a mental health asylum. With humour, insight, and the rare ability to hold interest over nearly 500 pages, A Beauty So Rare is a not-to-be-missed treasure for any reader of Inspirational Historical Fiction.
Likely the most enjoyable aspects of the newest addition to the Belmont Mansion series are the two primary characters, and the gradual, beautifully developed journey in wisdom and faith we are privileged to share with them. Eleanor Braddock is plain and practical – a woman who, at age 29, has resigned herself to a life of singleness and is prepared to make the best of it by realizing goals and serving others. But Marcus Geoffrey, passionate botanist, brilliant architect, and secretly the Archduke of Austria second in line for the throne, is about to change her mind – and her heart. As time goes on, events and characters threaten to shatter the delicate relationship growing between the two, leaving the question of a future together hanging in the balance.
Numerous life themes and challenging truths are woven carefully into the tapestry of the storyline constructing A Beauty So Rare. At the same time, characters mirror many of the struggles facing real people of today. Questions about inner and outer beauty, struggles with living out dreams, puzzles of hidden identity, and the reality of trusting God enough to live in the present are just a few of the ingrained truths adding to the overall value of the rare beauty found in this special story.
A Beauty So Rare truly has something for everyone… Beautiful word-illustrations of gardens, flowers, and plants will delight lovers of nature. History buffs will enjoy the accuracy of real-life details added to the fictitious plot. Volunteers with a desire to help the less-fortunate will be inspired by Eleanor’s dedication to a hope-filled cause. Clearly, I could continue listing reasons to read this heartfelt tale filled with treasures and wisdom, characters and love, but the rare beauty, the meaningful truths, may represent something entirely different to you. You may perceive truth, even rare beauty, intended only for you. Naturally, there is only one way to find out…
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group”