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The Queen of Beauty

(Die Jahrhundertwind-Trilogie #3)

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,479 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Petra Durst-Benning’s captivating historical novel pays homage to the trailblazing women of the early twentieth century—like Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder—who shaped culture, shattered convention, and strived to make the world around them more beautiful.

Despite all that Clara Berg has achieved as a wife, mother, and chemist—especially for a woman in turn-of-the-century
Paperback, 508 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Amazon Crossing (first published March 6th 2015)
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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 ·  1,479 ratings  ·  69 reviews

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Elizabeth Camden
Sigh....this was a wonderful conclusion to the trilogy. I had a happy smile on my face through most of the book, even though poor Clara goes through a lot. I was sorry to say goodbye to the three women featured in this trilogy.
Melissa Guthrie
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an Ending!

The end of a trilogy about women at the turn of the century. Love, friendship, and all the human emotions involved are nicely wrapped up in this book.
Donna J
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best trilogy ever...

What a way to end the best 3 books I've read as a series in a long time! The same wonderful girls who grew up together riding bicycles in competition at the turn of the century, who grew to be wives and mothers, and entrepreneurs. Clara came from an abused marriage who lost her family so she could seek a divorce. She was a woman who no longer could face anyone in Germany. She gets away with help from her girlfriends and her world changes for the best to the worst, with an
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my second book from this author and every bit as fascinating as the first. The beginning of the cosmetic industry in a time when women were only valued as homemakers and seen as second class, was intriguing. The characters were well delineated and interesting. I will now have to read more in this series, as I missed the first.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This trilogy is absolutely amazing. About three women who are close friends (each book centers on a different one) in turn of the century Berlin. They defy all odds to become who they were meant to be. I cannot adequately explain how wonderful this series is. I absolutely highly recommend each book in the trilogy!!!
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved it. I think it is the weaker of the 3 books on the trilogy and yes you CAN read them out of order, but I wouldn't. So many bad things happen to poor Clara it would have been nice to actually give her a "happy ending" but it does end on a happy note. I love how much this character changes from how she is in the first book, I think she is the character that develops the most. I think the trilogy also shows how women can change and succeed at any age. It is a lovely story.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
These novels by a German author are my "fun" reads. She tells a great story and her series would be a nice mini series for TV!!
Kayla Tornello
I loved the setting of this book in turn-of-the-century Germany. The resort town on Lake Constance sounded beautiful. I appreciated the many historical details, even though the characters are actually fictional. The main character, Clara, starts a beauty shop business, which is fascinating to learn about. Like in many romance novels, I was frustrated at times with the heroine for being so incredibly stupid. Overall though, it was quite an enjoyable book.

I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaw
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With its 1900 Berlin and Lake Constance setting, an abused divorcee (Clara) builds a cosmetic empire. This well researched novel starts with a German divorce court and how women had no rights in courts against abusive husbands in the early 1900s. Clara, along with her friends (Book 1 & Book 2) are trailblazers. Each forging a different path and supporting each other during difficult times. Well developed characters, twist and turn plot woven with historical details about women's rights, differen ...more
Cynthia Daniel
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
1900 Berlin was gery interesting. The ladies were fascinating. Their struggles added to their strengths. I wanted to read this book, now I'll keep it on my shelf to read again.
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel had many historical events which the characters were surrounded by. This made the story of Clara more believable and richer in detail. The difficulties of women's lives during the turn of the century are often overlooked. Clara'a fight to gain respect was finally rewarded. I highly recommend this continuation of the stories of four friends who were seeking their futures.
Alli Payne
Jun 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another fantastic Reed

I chose this rating because I have been waiting for this book to come outperiod honestly I had already started another book of a different genre, and when I saw that this one was released, I began to read it right away and could not stop. I will be reading this author again and again.
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won a kindle version of this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.

This is the third book in a series, and I have not read the other two, so I can't speak to how it fits in the series. That said, I didn't feel as though I was constantly playing catch up or confused about characters.

The book begins with Clara Berg getting out of an abusive, miserable marriage and trying to make something of herself. She has a slight education, through her father, in working with ointments and such and decides to try to
Jean Creighton
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-giveaways
I won a copy of this book through a giveaway on Goodreads.

Since this was the last book of a trilogy, I looked up the other 2, and decided that I should read them all, in order, and I was glad I did that, because it gave me the history of the main characters in this trilogy, Josephine, Isabelle, and Clara, and their deep friendship.

This book's focus is on Clara. Early 1900's, wanting to get out of an abusive marriage, Clara lies about having an affair in order for her husband to then get a divo
Kimberly Rebholz
Another great book.

I knew Stefan was not a truthful person. He kind of sounded like my ex-husband. I did not like one bit. However, I did like Laszlo. He seemed more genuine and not out for her money. I felt he really did want Clara to succeed in everything she did. And, he truly cared for her and her well being.
I am really glad she got to see her daughter in the end. I wish there would be another book that would show the over throwing of the judgement that she can't see her children. Then she c
Paula Spencer
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yet another inspiring book from Petra.

It hasc taken me about 2 weeks to read this trilogy from Petra and I was hooked from the start. Clara, Isabelle and Josephine are three women ahead of their time. Set in the turn of the century Europe the three women became firm friends. This book focuses on Clara and her love of pharmaceuticals and especially soap and lotion for women. It takes us through an abusive marriage and the difficulties divorce brought to her. Through plenty of ups and downs we are
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I HIGHLY recommend this trilogy. I finished it quite quickly (easy read), and I truly hope there are more books about these women. The books were written by a German author about the turn of the century in Berlin, Reims (France), and Meersburg (near Switzerland). This is a time period I don't normally read about, even though I love historical fiction, and a place I don't know much about. The writer has a magical way of describing the surroundings so that you truly feel like you are there, down t ...more
Joyce T. Enderle
Thanks for the memories

Past 40 years I've been to Berlin (was in Ulm night wall came down) , Stuttgart, Munich, Barvaria, Meersburg, Baden-Baden, the entire of Switzerland, had blue trout in village near Goddard Pass, 10 days on Rhine. My husband and I only vacation in Europe. We crossed Atlantic 82 times. I'm 85. Last October our final trip cruised Medeterain 12 days. Now with present situation our travels are finished. This book was so well written. I couldn't put it down. I'm truly sorry I wo
Terri Bullock
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was swept away in Durst-Bennings entire trilogy. I loved the feeling of being transported back in time. It reads almost like a fairy tale come true, but knowing that women like Estée Lauder and others struggled to create their place and brand in a society that believed women were to be servants and house aids to their husbands, reminds me that in any era, in any class, women can overcome great challenges and find true happiness and success. I'm going to miss Clara, Josephine and Isabelle, and ...more
Fiona M Watson
Fascinating social history, I came to like all three main characters and learned how
Berlin is not so different from any English city with hierarchy and social manoeuvring both for status and open doors for more equality.
My only reason for not giving 5* is that I feel uncomfortable with all 3 having such perfect love story endings, it is a novel and many readers prefer that so maybe just me wanting a little more reality.
Thank you to the translator for making it so readable, the English felt so n
Monica BIthar
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow... What a beautiful conclusion to a wonderful trilogy. The book was as well written as the other 2 books in the series. This one shares the journey of a woman who is married off young and has always been in the shadow of her domineering mother and fails to stand up for herself in her 1st marriage. The journey is breathtaking and a sure-shot page turner as you travel along with Carla as she matures.The fascinating story of friendship and strong that truly shows how strong women supporting eac ...more
Tina Marking
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book 3 of the Century Trilogy. I have loved this entire series, and this one did not disappoint. Oh, I got viciously angry, rightously upset, horribly indignant. But I also was deliriously happy, overwhelmingly satisfied, and emotionally drained and uplifted throughout this book. This entire series is a must read (as is The Glassblower Trilogy). Petra Durst-Benning is one of my favorite women authors.
sue patterson
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Petra Durst-Benning Trilogy

This trilogy is one of the most intriguing set I think I have ever read. These ladies serve as excellent teachers of "never give up, life has many surprises". The characters seem to jump off the pages and grab you and pull you in. Plus, when reading you will learn about the different life styles of these three friends and each of their challenges in different areas of Germany and France. Good read!!
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before I start my review I just want to say that I downloaded this book to my Kindle by mistake. But it turned out to be a good thing.

This is a great book to read on vacation. It started a little slow but as it progressed I liked it more and more. It about a young women's perseverance and how she learned that she is a smart and talented business women. This historic novel takes place in the turn of the century Germany. I definitely recommend it.
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never disappointed

I have become an addicted reader of Petra Durst-Benning's trilogies. She has a wonderful way of advocating for women without harsh, unbending demands. The characters are real to life with familiar aspirations, goals, and a willingness to work hard to persevere.
Renee Smith
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: won-books
I did not read the first 2 books but this one was really good. I enjoyed it. It was easy to read as a stand alone book. She had a hardship come to her and her husband was not nice at all but all she wants is to be reunited with her children. Thank God for her two steadfast friends that stood by her through thick and thin. Really good book.
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story of courage and tenacity. Rising above the abuse, greed, and general ignorance of males, Clara builds a new life for herself.

Josephine, Isabelle, and Lilo stand by Clara, as she stood by them in the other books in the series.

I like how Clara defies the males in her life who want to control her, and does not dwell on the injustices which befell her. Instead, she moves forward.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful books

These are wonderful books. Three young girls in the late 1900s, share a life long friendship, interwoven into three stories-- Josephine with her love of cycling, Isabelle with her vineyard, and Clara with her beauty products. I will definitely be following Petra Durst-Henning.
Janet Foster
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Petra Durst Bennett has done it again.

Petra, a weaver of words, makes you feel you are right there. You cheer her on as she moves in the right directions. All the books by Petra are excellent.
Patricia Locati
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book. It's the 3rd book in the series and I'm so sad this isn't a 6 book series. This is the 2nd trilogy of books that I've read by Petra and I loved every single book. Her next trilogy is coming out this fall. Can't wait!
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