Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Review: The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


From Paris in the 1920s to London after the Blitz, two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow ...

As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter’s life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee’s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Nora’s reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals…and break years of silence to forge a meaningful connection as women who have shared the best and the worst that life can offer?

A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional women. 

My Review: 

I found Jeanne Mackin’s The Beautiful American to be a pretty good read. Nora and Lee’s story is a unique one. I was intrigued by their relationship and interesting how they were able to reconnect. There are a few lessons that can be learned. These include: learning to move on from the past, learning the power of forgiveness and learning what is truly important in life. It was fascinating to see famous artists and photographers between the pages. I loved they were brought back to life.

I am giving The Beautiful American four stars. I recommend this one for readers who enjoy reading historical fiction, especially those focused on early to mid twentieth century. I look forward to more by Jeanne Mackin in the future. She has earned herself new fan.

I received a paperback copy of The Beautiful American from the author. This review is one hundred percent my own honest opinion.

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