Synopses & Reviews
From Paris in the 1920s to London after the Blitz, two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow....
As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen-year-old daughter. There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emerged from the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughters life. Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.
Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lees magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons. But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Noras reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals
and break years of silence to forge a meaningful connection as women who have shared the best and the worst that life can offer?
A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional women.
Readers Guide Included
Praise for The Beautiful American
“Readers will rank [it] right up there with The Paris Wife…. A brilliant, beautifully written literary masterpiece…”--New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas
“Will transport you to expat Paris… and from there take you on a journey through the complexities of a friendship…breathes new life into such luminaries as Man Ray, Picasso, and, of course, the titular character, Lee Miller, while at the same time offering up a wonderfully human and sympathetic protagonist in Nora Tours.”--Suzanne Rindell, author of The Other Typist
“Leaves its essence of love, loss, regret, and hope long after the novel concludes."--Erika Robuck, author of Fallen Beauty
“Achingly beautiful and utterly mesmerizing… Sure to appeal to fans of Paula McLain's The Paris Wife and Erika Robuck's Call Me Zelda, or indeed to anyone with a taste for impeccably researched and beautifully written historical fiction.”-- Jennifer Robson, author of Somewhere in France
“An engaging and unforgettable novel. I couldnt put it down.”--Renee Rosen, author of Dollface
"An exquisitely imagined and beautifully rendered story of the talented, tragic, gorgeous Lee Miller."--Becky E. Conekin, author of Lee Miller in Fashion
From the author of The Beautiful American comes a richly imagined novel about historical figure Beatrix Farrand, one of the first female landscape architects.
Raised among wealth and privilege during Americas fabled Gilded Age, a niece of famous novelist Edith Wharton and a friend to literary great Henry James, Beatrix Farrand is expected to marry, and marry well. But as a young woman traveling through Europe with her mother and aunt, she already knows that gardens are her true passionplanning them, nurturing them, digging deep into their soil, and cultivating their lush greenery.
This highborn woman with unconventional views and a distrust of marriage escapes the dictates of society to become the most celebrated female landscape designer in the country. Despite her association with much-acclaimed men in her field such as Frederick Law Olmsted, the genius behind New Yorks Central Park, her path is not easy. How she becomes a woman for whom work and love, the earthly and the mysterious, are held in delicate and satisfying balance is the story of her unique determination to create beauty and serenity while remaining true to herself.
Beatrixs journey begins at the age of twenty-three in the Borghese Gardens of Rome, where she meets beguiling Amerigo Massimo, an Italian gentleman of sensitivity and charma man unlike any she has known before....
About the Author
Jeanne Mackin teaches creative writing at Goddard College in Vermont and has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and New York. She lives with her husband, artist Steve Poleskie, in upstate New York. She is also the author of several novels: The Sweet By and By, Dreams of Empire, The Queens War, and The Frenchwoman.