Synopses & Reviews
From award-winning author Frederick Dillen, an inspiring and deeply moving novel about the power of second chances
As a corporate “undertaker” for a mergers and acquisitions firm in New York, Carol MacLean travels from factory to factory, firing blue-collar workers who remind her of her father and the kids she grew up with. She hates her job. But Carol has been biding her time: her boss has promised that one day, after she has paid her dues, Carol will get to run a company instead of having to bury it.
On what is supposed to be her last assignment, Carol travels up the coast of Massachusetts to a desperate fishing town where the late lobster and day boats cluster around the inner harbor, the blue steeples of the Portuguese church stand tall on the horizon, and the last remaining fish processing plant is in its death throes. That’s when she learns that she’s about to be fired.
To save the town and herself, Carol becomes determined to rescue the factory she’s under orders to shut down. With the help of the townspeople and a roughly charming local fisherman, and by the force of her own resolve, Carol throws herself into transforming the company—but is soon faced with increasingly difficult decisions. Must she choose between the job she has always wanted and everything else?
Beauty explores the ways in which one woman will risk everything—her savings, her reputation, and even a chance at love—in pursuit of her dream.
"BEAUTY is a heart-bursting gem of a novel—a love story, a riveting tale of high stakes intrigue, and a hero's journey that spins a contemporary twist on timeless values rooted deep in the American soul. Dillen’s tightly crafted narrative is the modern working woman’s Rocky. You will root for these vivid, off-beat characters waiting to leap up from the last pages with a fist pumping cheer for their hard earned redemption."
“A feel-good story with a dash of romance.”
“Kudos to Dillen for his unusual premise. The workplace drama that follows is rousing.”
“Dramatic and emotional…And it’s nice to have a middle-aged heroine for a change.”
“An absorbing story of one smart, hardworking woman handling the ‘fat boys’ of corporate leadership on their own turf, with masterfully developed characters and, as a bonus, a poignant romance.”
“[Dillen is a] thoughtful writer…the setting rings true for all who face the contemporary New England issues of overfishing, government regs and catch limits in real working towns whose history is bound up with hard-working fishermen…immensely enjoyable.”
“The tiny seaside town is comforting in its claustrophobia, charming in its smelly fishiness. The characters…are round, colorful, and infused with emotion.”
"This book is a jewel that shines brighter with each turn of the page!"
An “absorbing and memorable novel” (Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children
) set in the world of corporate intrigue, about a woman who must choose between her dream job and everything else—her savings, her reputation, and an unexpected chance at love.
As a corporate “undertaker” for a mergers and acquisitions firm in New York, Carol MacLean travels from factory to factory, firing blue-collar workers who remind her of her father and the kids she grew up with. The payoff is huge: If Carol works hard enough, her boss has promised to make her CEO of one of the firm’s holdings. Just when it seems like her dream might come true, on a trip that takes her away from New York to a desperate fishing town in coastal Massachusetts, Carol gets a call from the office: “You’re fired.”
Those words shake Carol to her core. But with the help of townspeople and a charming local fisherman, she begins to understand the power of life’s second acts. She becomes determined to save the factory she almost shut down. As Carol throws herself into transforming the company, she must choose between the job she has always wanted, and everything else.
From award-winning author Frederick G. Dillen, Beauty reminds us that sometimes in the pursuit of what we think we want, we lose sight of what matters most.
About the Author
Frederick Dillen is an award-winning author whose short fiction has appeared in literary quarterlies and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. His first novel, Hero, was named Best First Novel of 1994 by the Dictionary of Literary Biography. His second novel, Fool, was honored by Nancy Pearl as a Book Lust Rediscoveries selection in 2012. Dillen and his wife, Leslie, are parents of two grown daughters and live in New Mexico.