THE WAY OF BEAUTY
Camille Di Maio
Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2018
Number of Pages: 384
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Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.
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.
PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF BEAUTY:
“The Way of Beauty is a thing of beauty. The writing is gorgeous, the story is engaging, the characters are amazing. The amount of research that goes into historical fiction just astounds me. Add this to your TBR!”
“If you want to be swept away by a love story set in a fascinating and meticulously researched past, Camille Di Maio is the author for you. Don’t miss this one.”
“A captivating story of love and family that spans several generations.”
“The writing transports you to the time, not so long ago when women had to choose between love and their rights. Camille Di Maio’s dialogue, descriptions, and relationships create a complete picture of the era and struggles. Great book club book.”
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The Way of Beauty is written way beautifully.
I’ve been lucky enough to read all three of Di Maio’s books, and I can say that they’ve all been incredibly well and beautifully written.
I thought the prologue of The Way of Beauty was incredibly potent, and cast an extra emotional edge to the rest of the story, especially Vera’s part. I loved seeing the world through five year old Vera’s eyes to start out with. There was plenty in that short beginning to introduce the setting and the lives of Vera and her family. It felt like an authentic view into the lives of immigrants in New York. This line, I thought, summed it up nicely, “Milk and honey were not promises. They were luxuries.”
The characters were all authentic and interesting and had something to add to the story.
There are some books that really know how to pack an emotional punch to me, and this is certainly one of them. Vera’s part especially found me clutching a tissue more often than not. I felt like she was always so good, always trying to do the thing that was right even at the great pain it caused herself.
Alice’s part of the story was also very emotional. She was growing into her womanhood, and became at war with herself over who she was and who she loved. I don’t want to say too much since that’s the last half of the book, and very interconnected to the first half.
While fictional, I felt this novel did more to interest me and teach me about the plight of people in the (mostly) early 1900s than any textbook ever has. It was also striking to see how much progress has been made, but also the parallels of progress that has yet to come or is currently underway. There were also mentions of the future by the characters–their thoughts, dreams, or ideas– which I thought were interesting to compare to what actually happened/is possible now.
I’m so glad I was given a chance to read this book, and look forward to whatever the author comes out with next!
*I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~
Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There’s almost nothing she wouldn’t try, so long as it doesn’t involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us was Camille’s debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017, and The Way of Beauty is her third novel.
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TWO SIGNED COPIES!
MAY 1-10, 2018
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The Memory Of Us – Review
Before the Rain Falls – Review