Only the Beautiful + Book Club Zoom
Title: Only the Beautiful Author: Susan Meissner Publisher: Berkley Genre: Historical Fiction Hello friends! Happy Sunday! Today is the kickoff for #bookstareviewweek and Book Club day for @bookfriendsbookclub! We finally get to chat about one of our May picks, author Susan Meissner’s latest novel ‘Only the Beautiful’. Susan Meissner is an auto buy author for me and I have been waiting for a new book since I last closed the pages on her previous novel’Nature of Fragile Things’. After our Discord Chat Susan will be joining us via zoom! Discord Chat is at 5pm CT and Author Zoom 6pm CT.
"All of us, at some point in our lives, wish for a way to go back in time and make different decisions. I wish for it, too. You have no idea how much."
Heartbreaking. Anger Inducing. Shocking. Knowledge so history doesn’t repeat itself. Hopeful.
Part 1 1938 - Rosanne “Rosie” is just sixteen when her whole world falls apart. She loses her parents and her brother and is to be taken in by the Calvert’s the owners of the vineyard her parent’s always worked for. But Rosie is merely given job in the house to be the Calvert’s maid and a closet like bedroom to sleep in. At least Rosie has her “colors”; where she sees beautiful colors for sounds, otherwise known as synesthesia. But loneliness, isolation and grief takes it toll and Rosie ends up pregnant and banished by the Calverts. She is to be sent to a home for unwed mothers, but that’s not actually where she ends up…
Part 2 1947 - After 40 years of being a nanny and seeing first hand Hitler’s brutal pursuit of hereditary purity, Helen Calvert is now ready to come home to America. Her first stop is her brothers vineyard where she learns of secrets from nine years before…
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ What vivid characters. This book was a huge undertaking and Susan absolutely nailed it! The way it’s written in two parts was unique and I wasn’t sure at first, but when it comes together you can see this was the right choice. You will go through so many emotions reading this book, but it will all be worth it in the end. The epilogue gave me all the feels. Historical Fiction is my favorite, we must learn our history so it doesn’t repeat itself. I highly, highly recommend this book!! And if you are new to this author, check out her backlist. Besides ‘Nature of Fragile Things’’, Secrets of a Charming Life’ is a favorite too!
CW: A look at 1940s Eugenics both in the US and Nazi party, Institutions (forced medicating), Rape, Death/Murder (off page).
As I mentioned in my review our book club got to zoom with author Susan Meissner. Susan is just so kind and thoughtful; soft spoken and patient answering questions about her book! We were so grateful for her time!
Lastly, purchasing from the link below supports independent bookstores and my site!