Reviewed by Meg M.

Siri Mitchell’s latest historical novel, She Walks in Beauty, is set in the Gilded Age of New York. Forced to make her debut in society a year earlier than expected, Clara is thrust into a world of corsets, debutante balls and rich men. But Clara’s father and aunt have set their sights on Franklin DeVries, the wealthiest young man in New York, without regard to Clara’s desire to attend Vassar, read poetry, and marry for love.

Clara’s one ray of hope is her friendship with Lizzie, who debuts at the same time. But soon Clara finds herself competing with her friend for the affections of Franklin, and that catching a man often requires the sacrifice of a long-lasting friendship. Just as Clara seems to accept that she must marry self-centered Franklin, she finds herself falling in love with the one man she shouldn’t: Franklin’s younger brother, the poetry-quoting, kind-hearted Harry. Meanwhile unbeknownst to Clara, her father is hiding a secret that could destroy their family’s honor forever.

Well-researched and written, this novel is a lovely tale about learning to embrace who you are. Sometimes Mitchell spends a little too much time on wardrobe and debutante balls, but otherwise the story, with its multiple layers and compelling storylines, is very enjoyable. In a time period where men are revered for their wealth, Clara meets a man who engages her intellectually and spiritually. And in the end of the novel, she is presented with the ultimate choice for a woman of her time period: will she marry for love or for money?

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Marketing professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between on her blog, Morning Cup With Meg.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Bethany House. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.