Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Book Review: Fallen Beauty By Erika Robuck


By: Erika Robuck

Published: March 4, 2014


I am thrilled to be a part of the FALLEN BEAUTY Official Blog Tour.  Today FALLEN BEAUTY is officially on sale.  You can get your very own copy, HERE

Erika Robuck will embark on a national tour in March, meeting with booksellers, bloggers, and readers across the country…

March 7 - Launch event at BARNES & NOBLE in Annapolis, MD
March 11 - Luncheon at PAGE & PALETTE in Fairhope, AL (12PM) 
March 12 - Reading and book signing featuring friend and NYT Bestselling author, Karen White, at FOXTALE BOOK SHOPPE in Woodstock, GA (6:30PM)
March 13 - Ticketed luncheon at FICTION ADDICTION in Greenville, SC (City Range at 12PM)
March 14 - Reading and book signing at MALAPROPS in Asheville, NC (7PM)
March 15 - Reading and book signing at PARK ROAD BOOKS in Charlotte, NC (2PM)
March 17 - Reading and book signing at THE COUNTRY BOOKSHOP in Southern Pines, NC (4:30PM)
March 22 - A multi-author event featuring Nora Roberts’ Shadow Spell at TURN THE PAGE in Boonsboro, MD (12PM)
*For more information on Erika’s tour events, please visit www.ErikaRobuck.com and participating bookstore websites. 

Please be sure to check out the other stops along the FALLEN BEAUTY Blog Tour for more unique review coverage and additional chances to enter to win a giveaway copy of FALLEN BEAUTY!!

February 17 -  A Patchwork of Books and Maurice On Books
February 19 - Great New Books
February 20 - Chick Lit Plus and Girls Just Reading
February 22 -  *Millay's Birthday*BookNAround Entertainment Realm, and Two Classy Chics
February 26 - Literate Housewife and LitChat
March 7 - My 5 Monkeys and Traveling With T

By visiting all these other sites on the "Book Tour" you can get a real sense for what this book is about.  I am honored to be a part of the "Book Celebration" in a sense and excited to share my thoughts with you about FALLEN BEAUTY. 

In Erika Robuck's tale, you will find passion, intrigue, romance, and feel a sizzling energy during a very difficult time in two women's lives.  First we are introduced to Laura.  She is the daughter of a dress-maker who suddenly dies and Laura must find a way to take over the business. In the mean time, her sister is planning to marry an upcoming political figure and Laura has just found out she is pregnant with her forbidden lover's child.  The other woman in the story goes by many names including Vincent, but is really Edna St. Vincent Millay, the famous poet.  She and her husband live a "progressive" life in the mountains near a small village in upstate New York.  They have lots of wild parties that include sex and alcohol.  The people of the community are horrified to have such debauchery take place so near their homes and have shunned Millay from their lives as well as anyone who takes part in the wild parties.

The story begins in 1928, a time when family loyalty, responsibility and respect are the driving forces behind everyone's choices.  When Laura falls in love with someone who is not available, their one night of passion leads to a child that she is forced to raise on her own, much to the glaring eyes of the people in her community.  She watches as her shop bell no longer rings and orders stop coming in.  Desperate for a way to pay her bills, she agrees to make costumes for the flagrant poet.  Even though she is already shunned by her community and friends, Laura must take this risk to be able to keep her shop and take care of her daughter.  

Each chapter we are told the story from both Laura's and Vincent's perspective.  I was mainly interested in Laura's story.  She was a women that I would have chosen as a friend. She had a deep care and concern for others and was passionate about her clothing designs. Vincent on the other hand, was selfish, dramatic, and narcissistic. I found her whining to be nauseating and annoying.  In her world, there are no rules and she is in charge.  She has no care of what others think and was extremely full of herself. I was glad her parts of the book were short.  I am not a huge poetry fan, but for those that are, they will appreciate that Millay's poems are sprinkled throughout the story.  

When I was approached to review this book, the first thing that drew me to it was the cover. I have always felt that the cover truly is the first part in the sale of a book and this one definitely catches the eye and will make you pick it up.  It is just gorgeous. I love the title, FALLEN BEAUTY as it tells so much about both Laura and Millay. Even though it was used to describe Laura in the book, it can equally be used to paint a picture of Millay's life throughout the story. As we travel through ten years in these two women's lives, we are treated to heartache and love, growth and change. How did the two women fare by the end of the story? You will have to read to find out.

My favorite line from the book actually came from Vincent's story.  I read an uncorrected proof and can't state for sure that this part of the book made the final cut, but I hope it did.

"If my life was a quilt, there would be squares I'd want torn out."

Don't we all wish we could recreate past incidents in our lives? Those blocks of a quilt tell our story and no matter the pain, the blocks must remain. 

In the beginning, I wasn't sure I liked the book, but it grew on me as I turned the pages.  I was reading it fast at first because I had a deadline, but as I neared the last third of the book, I was turning the pages more to find out what would happen.  If you can get past the sordid life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, you will find much about this novel to love.

Erika Robuck - Photo Credit Catsch Photography LLC
Erika Robuck has appeared on the Southern Independent Bestseller List for CALL ME ZELDA and is the critically acclaimed author of HEMINGWAY'S GIRL.  Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Erika was inspired by the cobblestones and old churches.  She is a contributor to the popular fiction blog, Writer Unboxed, and maintains her own historical fiction blog called Muse.  For more information please visit www.erikarobuck.com, and Twitter @ErikaRobuck.

To purchase FALLEN BEAUTY, click on the photo below:

Thanks to Penguin Group for sending me a copy of this book for review and for the spot in the "Book Tour". I was not compensated in any way for this review.  This review is my honest opinion.  If you chose to purchase the book through the above links, I will receive a small compensation without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting SincerelyStacie.com book reviews. 

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