Set in the late 1880s, the novel follows Maribel Campbell Lowe, a stunning foreign beauty who smokes too much (in an era when only 'loose women' smoked!), is married to a radical Member of Parliament who supports socialism and reform, who yearns for the passion and inspiration that comes fr...more
It may sound h...more
“A stirring and seductive novel.”—Economist
London 1887. For Maribel Campbell Lowe, the beautiful bohemian wife of a maverick politician, it is the year to make something of herself. A self-proclaimed Chilean heiress educated in Paris, she is torn between poetry and the new art of photography. But it is soon plain that Maribel’s choices are not so simple. As her husband’s career hangs by a thread, her real past, and the family she abandoned, come back to haunt them both. When the notorious news
Clark gives her readers a camera-lens view of the life of Maribel Campbell Lowe, who on the surface seems to be proper wife to her English politician husband. She entertains, she dabbles in amateur photography, she writes poetry - all the things a sedate lady would do. But Maribel has secrets, a web of lies and deciet that could possibly tear apart he...more
Maribel was the wife of a late-19th century libera...more
I really like The Nature of Monsters, but gave up on The Great Stink, which I found really wordy with a storyline that kept going off on weird tangents. I think the building of the sewer system in London is a fascinating subject, but the concept was very much drowned in unnecessary fluff.
With that being said I was hoping The Great Stink was just a blimp in this author’s repertoire and that Beautiful Lies would again restore my love of this author and her take on Victorian...more
There is so much packed in this novel, it goes everywhere. At times I think it just is too much, what was the author thinking. But, it does works with Beautiful Lies.
There is lots of underlying mystery of smoking Maribel. What a scandal, a high soc...more
I also tried to read 'Savage Lands' by Clare Clark and found myself giving up without finishing, which is what happened with 'Beautiful Lies'. I read over 200 pages of this book and wasn't compelled to continue. Part of...more
If I sometimes found the dialogue a little bit too modern, that's a minor point and preferable to gadzookery. The author's Victorian England felt right and whi...more
I’m a Victorian fiction lover, both classic and recently written. Clare Clark has written a wonderfully researched semi-mystery in “Beautiful Lies”. I didn’t love it but I sure liked it a lot. I was reminded of the Anne Perry’s Thomas Pitt series both in Clark’s writing style as well as the setting and the unusual, for the times, marriage. The main characters are Maribel and Edward Campbell Lowe. She’s an aspiring poet and a somewhat successful photographer and he’s a radical me...more
I know I said this already, but I’ll say it again for effect: I loved t...more
Clark did an impeccable job with this novel. Her writing style flowed effortlessly and I was transported back in time alongside Maribel from the very first page. The descriptions of the time and the various settings of the novel were done in such a way that I could simply...more
Clark does a wonderful job with descriptions and adds in events and figures to round out the time...more
The reason this is a four- and not a five-star review, then, is Clark's rendering of late-n...more
Approximately 1/3 and probably 1/2 of this book should have ended up being thrown out. There were passages that were not crucial to the plot that went on for pages and crucial elements which were given but a single paragraph.
There is no way I would have fini...more