Title: Beauty and Attention
Author: Liz Rosenberg
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publish Date: October 25, 2016
Source: TLC Book Tours
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "For misfit Libby Archer,
social expectations for young women in Rochester, New York, in the
mid-1950s don’t work. Her father has died, leaving her without parents,
and her well-meaning friends are pressuring her to do what any sensible
single girl must do: marry a passionate, persistent hometown
suitor with a promising future. Yet Libby boldly defies conventional
wisdom and plans to delay marriage—to anyone—by departing for her
uncle’s Belfast estate. In Ireland, Libby seeks not only the comfort of
family but also greater opportunities than seem possible during the
stifling McCarthy era at home.
Across the Atlantic, Libby finds
common ground with her brilliant, invalid cousin, Lazarus, then puts her
trust in a sophisticated older woman who seems to be everything she
hopes to become. Fraught with betrayal and long-kept secrets, as well as
sudden wealth and unexpected love, Libby’s journey toward independence
takes turns she never could have predicted—and calls on courage and
strength she never knew she had."
My Two Cents:
In "Beauty and Attention," Libby is a young woman trying to make a decision that faced so many women during the 1950s. Things were much different then when women were basically expected to get married and have kids. If they did work a job, it was something like a secretary or another job that wasn't anything like what men were able to do. Libby rejects that idea and finds herself across the ocean in Belfast drawn to a world that she is only beginning to understand.
Books like this make me so happy that I have all of the choices that I have as a woman now. I appreciated that Libby was not content to simply do what society expected of her. She has that gumption in the very beginning of the book and it sticks through right until the end. I really liked seeing the world through her eyes where going off the path that everyone else seems to expect for her barely seems to faze her. This is a strong, independent woman that I really enjoyed following throughout the story.
While I appreciated Libby's character and was drawn to her story, the writing of the book lost me a little bit. This is a relatively short book but there is so much telling rather than showing. In trying to introduce detail to the book, the narrative really gets bogged down and made this book feel like a bit of a slog in some parts. Overall, this was an interesting story that could have been edited more.