Release date: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Historical Fiction
Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.
Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.
Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.
I don’t read historical fiction all that often, you guys know I stick to my thrillers with a rom com or some women’s fiction thrown in for some variety, but every time I do switch to a historical novel I wonder why I don’t read more of them?! The Way of Beauty was such a gorgeous book in every single way, it was so amazing that I’m going to be reading DiMaio’s other books ASAP.
The first half is set in the 1900’s and told from Vera’s perspective beginning when she’s just five years old and it follows her up until her early twenties. Much of her story revolves around the suffrage movement and while I had a basic grasp of what went on, this book definitely taught me more and it was fascinating. These women were warriors in lipstick, such strong and inspiring people, it was fantastic to read about this movement in detail. The second half follows Vera’s daughter, Alice beginning in the 1940’s so you still get to check in with Vera which was cool. I absolutely adored both of these women and DiMaio created such beautiful and heartbreaking stories for both of them. They were both incredibly well drawn, I felt like I knew both of their hopes, dreams and fears and I wanted what was best for them in the end.
The setting of NYC was so vividly imagined, I’m telling you guys DiMaio is an amazingly detailed writer and the style was part romantic, a dreamy type of wonder and part crisp, cool containment, it worked so well for me. There is some epic romance as well, swoon worthy stuff, but not the cheesy type, the kind that makes you sigh in contentment. This one broke my heart in it’s beauty one minute and made me ecstatically happy the next, if you’re a fan of HF this is a must read!
The Way of Beauty in three words: Moving, Tender and Compassionate.
Overall rating: 5/5
Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.