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The Way of Beauty
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Archive: Other Books > The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio - 2 stars

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message 1: by Joy D (last edited Sep 02, 2019 01:05PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy D | 3040 comments The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio - 2 stars

PBT Comments: I can't recall exactly why this book ended up on my Kindle, but I read this book for a challenge (book with an aqua cover). I need to do more due diligence in advance, so perhaps I could have spotted this as a romance even though it was touted as historical fiction. There are many glowing reviews of this book, so I am an outlier, but I really didn't like it.

This book tells the story of two women in one family, Vera and Alice, with ties to Penn Station in New York City. It opens with Vera as a child watching the construction of Penn Station in 1900. After her mother dies, she cares for her father who suffers from the bends and associated mental health issues incurred during his work as a “sandhog,” the term for the workers that toiled underground to build the station. She is in love with her friend, Angelo, but he marries Pearl, a zealous suffragette. Vera and Pearl become close friends, but the relationship with Angelo becomes a barrier. At about the half-way point, the story shifts to Alice in the early 1940’s as the United States is being drawn into WWII. She is also involved in a love triangle, being pulled in two directions: one toward the mysterious and passionate Emmett and the other toward the more reliable William, a wealthy family connection.

The Way of Beauty is pitched as historical fiction, but it is really a romance. I enjoyed the portions of this narrative that focused on the suffragettes and the backstory of Penn Station. Unfortunately, the rest seems like a contemporary novel with modern sensibilities set in a historic time. I am not a romance reader, so the two love triangles were a bit much for me. The inner thoughts of Vera and Alice revolved around their feelings for the men in their lives. I thought this an odd choice for a book that purportedly tells the story of the early suffragette movement. The writing is not inspired, the dialogue is stilted, and the story gets progressively convoluted and melodramatic toward the end. I was interested enough to finish but, in the end, did not particularly enjoy it.

Link to My GR Review


message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy | 8142 comments I read this for the Beautiful tag, because it was on my TBR. Solid 3, no more no less for me. It sounds a lot like Fiona Davis's the Masterpiece which also features Grand Central. Not particularly memorable this one was. Glad its trimmed off my TBR which is becoming more selective.


Joy D | 3040 comments Amy wrote: "I read this for the Beautiful tag, because it was on my TBR. Solid 3, no more no less for me. It sounds a lot like Fiona Davis's the Masterpiece which also features Grand Central. Not particularly ..."
I am doing the same, selecting books more carefully to add to the TBR. I had bought this one quite a while ago when I was not researching them as much. Several of my friends loved it, so I'm sure there's an audience, it's just not for me.


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