A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander #review

A Beauty So Rare by Tamera Alexander follows the story of Eleanor Braddock. Eleanor has been brought up to be practical and has always thought of herself as plain and not a typical Southern beauty. Due to her age she feels she will never marry. Impoverished and struggling to care for her father and his mental decline, Eleanor arrives at Belmont Mansion. Belmont Mansion is home to her aunt, Adelicia Acklen, the richest woman in America and also one of the most demanding. Adelicia is determined to find her niece a husband but Eleanor wants to follow a different path. From one act of kindness, Eleanor begins to take care of the widows and fatherless children from the Civil War, something she knows her Aunt will never understand nor approve of.

Archduke Marcus Gottfried has come to Nashville from Austria in search of a life that he dreams of instead of the one that has been preset for him. He hides his royal heritage so that he can follow his passion for nature and combining this with architecture. His dream is to develop the most marvelous building in American history.  He begins to work on the home that will help Eleanor care for the widows and their children and this begins to draw them closer together. They find so much in common and begin to fall in love.

A Beauty So Rare was a fantastic read from start to end. Eleanor was a character that you could easily relate to and connect with. She is a tad bit unsure of herself, determined to make her own way and go against society norms. Throughout the novel she is forced to struggle with her father’s mental decline which many can relate to and understand the difficulties that can arise with dementia. This is not an easy topic but throughout the novel she cared for him and did all she could for him.

Eleanor selflessness was one of her most admirable traits. She was always ready and willing to give more. She came to Nashville with little money in her pocket but she still cared for those less fortunate. Despite dreaming of owning her own restaurant she cooks and cares for those less fortunate. Her character really shows us that as Christians (and people in general) we are always called to care for others and give where we can. It has inspired me to help out more in my own community!

The love that blossomed between our two main characters was simple and sweet. The two characters made you smile, laugh and shake your head. Similar to moments in our own relationships with our significant others today!

A Beauty So Rare was full of historical places, people and information. This really helped to draw you into the story and see into Eleanor’s world. Tamera does an excellent job of re-creating society in this time period fully immersing you into this historical period.

Eleanor shows us that true beauty comes from within and shines through all of our acts of kindness and selflessness. A Beauty So Rare is a definite must read!

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.


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