The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio
Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary Publisher: Lake Union Press Date of Publication: May 1, 2018 Number of Pages: 384
Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station. Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.
Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.
Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.
I really should have planned better when reading this. I forgot how emotionally charged I get after finishing her books. That then leads to extreme rambling as I talk in circles trying to capture my emotions into words. I immediately want to reread this to make this high last and bathe in the details some more. I’ll try to keep my habit to ramble in mind and hopefully be able to portray a portion of my feelings toward this book in a short and sweet review.
Simply put, everyone should read this book. I’m a mood reader and recently I’ve been pretty sick of romance, but on a historical kick. A title like, The Way of Beauty, had me nervous, but the depth of beauty captured was so much more than a superficial lust. This story was more so a lust for life and for purpose. That hit home for me. I was in their shoes, walking alongside these characters, peeling each layer of this onion back and trying not to cry with each cut to the heart.
The historical setting was breathtaking. That is my favorite piece to her stories. The author makes old feel new, bringing a time far behind us into the present. Her writing style is so inviting, that you can’t help but feel like you are among these women. She creates a perfect balance of encompassing a historical piece of time as she puts a soul into it and makes it come alive. The complexity of intertwining characters into real pieces of history is beyond me. Thank you for this timeless piece of literature. The way things so seamlessly fell into place after all the turmoil and heartache was beautiful.
Magical. Inspiring. Breathtaking. Hangover..
“The first step for her was getting out of the toil of a factory. The daughters of her future might dare to get an education. And the generations beyond that? It wasn’t even possible to imagine.”
“You will learn, though, dear, that passion and love are not synonymous, as the world would have you believe. Love is honesty, loyalty, and putting the other first.”
“Funny how those who most prided themselves on being revolutionary were often the biggest conformists of all.”
“We are born shiny and new, and people marvel at us. How we smell. How we look. They celebrate when we take our first step. Fanfare all around...But then it reached a sort of a middle age. No one lauds you when you take a step, because you have done it several million times before...And now this. Without the maintenance it needs, it’s showing its age. As we all do. Our wrinkles tell our story, etched out like a road map. That’s the way of beauty. Birth, middle age, decline.”
Too many good quotes to share!
~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~
Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She's lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai'i to feel like a local. She's traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmer’s markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There's almost nothing she wouldn't try, so long as it doesn't involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. The Memory of Us was Camille's debut novel. Her second, Before the Rain Falls was released on May 16, 2017, and The Way of Beauty is her third novel.
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