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Beauty: A Novel
Susan Wilson
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Beauty: A Novel

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  504 ratings  ·  85 reviews
What if the fairy tale came true?

In this bittersweet love story, it isn't Beauty who needs to discover the man inside the Beast—but the man himself.

When Alix Miller takes off for a remote spot in New Hampshire to paint a portrait of the reclusive aristocrat, Leland Crompton, nothing has prepared her for what's in store. The housekeeper is unnerving. The castle-like house—w
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published May 28th 1996 by Crown (first published 1996)
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This is an interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between Alix and Lee, the painter and the deformed man. It was beautiful and convincing as it unfolded. However, the ending really didn't work. It felt rushed, sloppy, and, in some key ways, unnecessary. **SPOILER** What I wanted to see was how their relationship progressed as they worked at being married. That really had to bring up a lot of issues for both of them, but it was all skipped over as ...more
I could have sworn I reviewed this. Oh well. I should have liked this. It had all the elements I enjoy. It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast for crying out loud. How could I NOT like it? The 'beast' was a man from a wealthy family with a disfiguring disease. The 'beauty' was an artist who was filling in for her ill father, commissioned to paint the man's portrait. Good so far. LOVELY so far.

After they meet, great, I'm along for the ride and enjoying it, despite some minor issues I had with
Alix Miller is hired to paint a portrait of Lee Crompton, who is a disfigured recluse. For practicality, she lives with him while she works on it. I'm not going to say more on the plot because the synopsis is pretty self-explanatory.
What I will say is that I absolutely loved this book. I've had Beauty since 1996, and it has made it through every book donation clean out that I've had. It is a quick read - I can read through it in a day - and it is a fantastic story. It's on my "Keep Forever" she
Christy Stewart
I'll love any book that has a disfigured leading character, and what was good about this book was that instead of it being 'At first, I was taken aback but I can see the beauty there. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder' it was 'He's ugly. No, ugly ugly.' Aside from that, the leading lady was the right amount of feminine to make her believable and not annoying. So that makes for two winning characters in my book.

Lastly, the book is a great realistic version of a re-told fairy tale and despite t
This is one of my favorite reads. If nothing else sounds interesting, this is what I pick up. Its the typical story of beauty and the beast but set in modern times, with the "beast" being a regular man with a genetic distortion to his body.
Tiffani Long
Oh, Beauty, how you tricked me. I was so ready to give this book a rave rating and review. I feel so, I am going to split the difference and write a two-fer...

Why I want to give this book 5 stars:

I was in love with idea of a real-life Beauty and the Beast story and from the beginning, the author did a wonderful job of capturing the emotions and complexities of Lee and Alix's growing relationship. The writing, beautifully done, wrapped me up in the story and held me tight. The str
this book had the potential to be great, but alas, it was not. i'm not going to lie, i was interested for about half of the book, but then my interest started dwindling. Alix was kind of ridiculous. She was a bit of a slut, and really shallow. she talks about the boys that she has dated and slept with, and mentions that all of them were pretty much ken dolls. And, she openly tells a boy that if she "was ready" that she would sleep with him anytime. I also didn't appreciate that the author put in ...more
This book is a contemporary (1996) romance based on the classic fairy tale of Beauty and the Beast. Alix, who comes from several generations of portrait painters, is commissioned by Lee Crompton, a wealthy recluse, to paint his portrait, as Alix's family has done for Lee's family for over 300 years. The catch of course, is that Lee is deformed and holes himself up in his country mansion.

The book was ok. I definitely thought the characters of Alix and Lee were well written, sympathetic, and engag
First, let me say I am a sucker for anything that reflects the Beauty and the Beast dynamic. This short book was absolutely wonderful. It was not very long, but that did not leave me feeling unsatisfied in any way by the end (as some short novels can). The characters were lovely and endearing. Once I finished this book, all I could do was sigh and say “Oh, my heart.” One of the best romantic books I’ve ever read. I would recommend this to anyone.
Tedious, amateurish prose plodding through the usually bulletproof Beauty and the Beast archetype without ever once capturing the magic of the story. Featuring a nasty, irritable, self-obsessed heroine with all the emotional depth of a teaspoon and a hero who is blandly nice with no personality to speak of. The whole thing couldn't be more vacuous. If you hang your entire novel on a slow-burn love story between characters who gradually and organically connect on an emotional level, maybe have th ...more
Kiera Beddes
Genre: Beauty and the Beast, artistic life,
Summary: Alix is a painter. She comes from a family of painters who always paint the Cromptons. When she receives a commission to paint the reclusive last of the Crompton line, she is intrigued. She goes up to his secluded house in the country and meets Leland who has been grossly distorted by a genetic disease. Leland is kind, generous, possibly the best man that Alix has ever met. When she falls in love with him, he doesn't believe her.
Response: I a
I love the story of Beauty and the Beast which led me to read this book. It started off well and I was enjoying this take on the Beauty and the Beast story. However, the ending completely ruined this book for me. It wasn't what I was expecting to happen and it is not a book I will be reading again.
It was a good story, but it could have been even better without the swearing and sex. Lame additions that don't further the plot at all.
One of the saddest and most beautiful books I have ever read. If one day I own it I will reread it.
This is a wonderful book. I suppose one could technically classify it as a romance, but it is so much more than that. Its idea taken from the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, Beauty brings the story into the modern world and gives it a twist.

Alix Miller is an artist and has taken a job painting the portrait of reclusive Lee Crompton. For centuries, Miller's have been painting portraits of the Cromptons and this time it will be no different, except it will be Alix instead of her father. She
Bronwyn Rykiert
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a beautiful interpretation of the beauty and the beast story. Lee, the hero, is truly hideous on the outside. He has acromegaly, a totally disfiguring condition, which has utterly distorted his looks. The first time the heroine, Alix, sees him, she is completely repulsed. The author unveils the beautiful person within Lee layer by layer, and we slowly learn to appreciate his considerable inner beauty along with Alix as she gets to know him. You fall in love with Lee along with Alix, unti ...more
Absolutely beautiful. It will truly touch your heart. It's a really interesting recounting of the famous story, "Beauty and the Beast", like how the first reviewer mentioned. Although, this book is written from a realistic perspective in this society. To elaborate, this book is exemplary of what true love is, really. It's not about a woman who falls in love with some gorgeous man, then gets married...until that marriage starts to fall apart. In "Beauty", it's about a woman who falls in love with ...more
Cecilia Rodriguez
Narrated first by Alix, then by Lee, the plot examines what made the ancient Greek myth of Eros and Psyche such an iconic and archetypical story.
Wilson explains in her introduction, that love does not obscure our vision, it clarifies it so we can see what is truly important.
Alecia Burrows
I wasn't sure if I would like this retelling of Beauty and the Beast but it was amazing. I fell in love with the characters and was astonished at the ending. Its one of the best I have ever read and I think it will always have a special place in the library of my heart.
So I bought this book ages ago and just now got to reading it. It was my attempt at rejuvenating myself for yet another vampire, fallen angel, and/or demon book.

It was decent enough. I love the original Beauty and The Beast. So this book was a nice somewhat less glamorous version.

The story in itself was good, however all the descriptions overwhelmed me and I found myself skipping those long paragraphs - frankly, I don't care to read what snow covered landscapes look like.

I enjoyed this book - un
Jan 31, 2014 Abby rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Abby by: dont remember
I loved it, couldn't put it down. It was a modern version Beauty & The Beast. You would fall in love with Lee and you heart goes to him. The main female is an artist and stays in his home to paint his portrait which is a family tradition between her family & Lee's.

You can see their friendship grows to a very special friendship. I highly everyone to read this book!
Strong 4 out of 5 stars. Beautiful re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. I was genuinely touched by the tenderness and true love in this story.
A book I read multiple times, many years ago. Just adding it to my Goodreads list. It's a long time favorite.
heartbreaking, cannot spoil... beauty and beast kind of story...
Grace K
Loved it! Ending had me nearly in tears.
Very well-written and oh, so sad.
The story is indeed the "Beauty & the Beast" fairy tale in modern times, there is even a rose motif. It is the Beast - this time a man with gigantism -- who must realize his beauty and lovableness inside. His capacity to love is great, but he feels he cannot be loved. Alex, his Beauty, can scarcely teach him, but love and grief do win out in the end. Yes, grief - it's all part of the deal.
But oh, it left me SO sad - I remember reading it and then wandering a
A painter,who unknowingly accepts a commission to paint the portrait of a grotesquely deformed New Hampshire aristocrat, finds herself slowly drawn to this lonely and intelligent man.

Highly recommend. LIBRARY JOURNAL calls it "a little gem." Well-written story. Variation on the theme: Beauty and the Beast. Will appeal to a broad audience of readers. Wonderful read. Lovely story. Enchanting.
Jessica J
This was an interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. An artist keep up tradition by going to paint a recluse author. It turns out that he has a genetic disease that has disfigured him. The ending was interesting in that it wasn't the typical happy ending.
Had no idea this book plucked off the Friends of the Library sale cart costing a whole dollar would turn out to feed my insatiable capacity for variations of Sleeping Beauty and/or Beauty and the Beast. But it did -- and it was fairly well-done as I recall.
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Born in Providence, RI, raised in Middlefield (Rockfall) Connecticut. Post High School Education, Middlesex Community College, Middletown, CT and Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT.
Married, two grown daughters and a granddaughter and grandson.
Lives in Oak Bluffs, MA, on Martha's Vineyard.

Those are the stats. I am a novelist, seven published, one in progress, and a occasional co
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