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The Beautiful American

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3.68  ·  Rating Details ·  22 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
Abby Long is thrilled when she offers the winning bid for an antique desk at an auction. With its intricately inlaid woods and elegant style, the desk is perfect for Abby; it is the gift she promised herself to finally celebrate her thriving antique business. She has no idea that the antique desk holds a secret that will lead her on a fascinating, life-changing journey bac ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published April 26th 2012 by AuthorHouse (first published April 24th 2012)
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Mary Findley
Jun 17, 2012 Mary Findley rated it it was amazing

"La Belle Americaine" is a phrase often repeated in this story. It appears in the diary which Abby Long finds hidden in a beautiful antique desk she buys at auction. But it isn't used to describe the person I believe is the truly "Beautiful American" in this story.
Jasmine is a slave who providentially comes to live on the plantation of James Monroe around the time he serves as ambassador to France. This story is about slavery only incidentally. Mostly it's about true freedom. The polar characte
...more
K.P. Kollenborn
Feb 17, 2013 K.P. Kollenborn rated it really liked it
Two stories are delightfully intertwined. One set in today's time in New England; the other in late 18th Century America and France. Beginning with an antique dealer, Abby, who purchases a desk at an auction and then meets an architect, Nathan, a romance prevails. What makes this narrative fun is including Abby's employees, (one of whom who is English, hence playing off the Continental connection between America and England,) and Abby's faithful pooch, Muttie. Both Nathan and Abby discover a dia ...more
Vickie McKeehan
Jul 24, 2012 Vickie McKeehan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abby Long is an antique dealer who buys an old desk at auction. When she and handsome Nathan Edwards discover a hidden journal inside the desk, Abby begins a journey back to 1792. Along the way, the reader gets an inside perspective of the relationship between two extraordinary women from opposite ends of the spectrum. One is Jasmine, a young house slave, the other, the wife of James Monroe. As the story unfolds from plantation life to the streets of France, Ms. Holdsworth holds nothing back as ...more
Stacy
Jul 20, 2012 Stacy rated it liked it
A great historical read! The descriptions were stunning. Author does a lovely job setting the scene for the time. Sweet character interactions. Received this book free through Goodreads First Reads. Thanks Goodreads!
Edward Schneider
Mar 07, 2013 Edward Schneider rated it really liked it
I love historical fiction and this book really took you back. Especially since the characters were real people. This is the first book that Ihave read by Marilyn Holdsworth but I will look for more of her books.
Beverly
Aug 01, 2014 Beverly rated it really liked it
I was engaged in this story which begins in current time with an antique dealer, Abby, who purchases a coveted lady’s desk for herself. The desk is not only the connection between Abby and her suitor, Nathan, but also to primary character of the second and major story line, Jasmine, a slave in the Virginia household of the future President James Monroe. This second story unfolds when Abby finds a diary in her new desk.
The author’s descriptions are vivid and clear and carried me into the experi
...more
Gayle
Jan 11, 2014 Gayle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
REVIEW
We have two tales woven together. One in today's time in New England, one in the late 18th century American and France. The story is told by Jasmine, a slave girl as her perspective. The story includes the James Monroe's family before Monroe became the 5th president.There is Abby who is an antique dealer. She goes to auction and buys a desk. A romance starts when she meets Nathan, an architect. Both of them find a diary in the desk, and this leads to the second story.

Jasmine is a slave wh
...more
Taki
May 17, 2015 Taki rated it did not like it
I read this because, while there are numerous fictionalizations of Thomas Jefferson's life, and Alexander Hamilton's life, and even Dolley about Mrs. Madison, I have never read a fictionalization starring Col. Monroe. Anyway this book was godawful like I expected, and I gave it a pretty solid evisceration on tumblr. Highlights: dialogue so clunky and robotic it sounds like it was written by a computer, obvious lack of research ("Governor" Morris), and horribly offensive phonetically transcribed ...more
Brooke Alcock dunmore
Jul 16, 2014 Brooke Alcock dunmore rated it it was amazing
I cannot praise this book enough!

It’s something different and original. From the moment I read the first page I was almost unable to draw myself away from the book.

Historical fiction can be hard going at the best of times with the main emphasis often being directed on the description of the period, as opposed to the actual storyline. Somehow Marilyn Holdsworth has overcome any excessive detail and drudgery and used her admirable research skills to create a vivid and rich backdrop of an intricate
...more
Mary Chrapliwy
Jan 31, 2014 Mary Chrapliwy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book would be more about a present time person with some diary sprinkled into the story. This book was just the opposite. A story set in the present time was minimal - maybe just 5% of the overall story, while the historical story was the dominant storyline.

Abby Long goes to an auction an sees an antique desk that she falls in love with. She bids a bit high, but wins the auction. She meets Nathan Edwards as she is leaving the auction. They strike up a relationship that blossoms in
...more
Kimberly Westrope
Dec 30, 2014 Kimberly Westrope rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the best stories I've read lately. Though it starts out in modern times, when antique dealer Abby purchases an old desk in which she finds a hidden journal, it then takes us back in history through the words and thoughts of a young slave girl working for the family of future president James Monroe. It is rich in historical detail and full of emotion on many levels. When the family moves to France, the servant girl, Jasmine, meets a young artist's apprentice and they are drawn to e ...more
Sulaine Callaway
Mar 23, 2013 Sulaine Callaway rated it did not like it
I was determined to finish this book and it was a challenge. Not a particularly good story nor believable
Sheila Read
Sep 14, 2013 Sheila Read rated it it was amazing
I'm commenting on the cover looks like a touching book that I would love to read and it would make me cry.
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I live in Southern California. Majored in Literature. World traveler.
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