The Inheritance of Beauty
Just the Facts: by Nicole Seitz. 320 p. Published Feb 2011 by Thomas Nelson. Read as an advanced review copy, courtesy of NetGalley.
Who Cares? Adult Contemporary / Historical Fiction
Short Bio: “The Inheritance of Beauty” is an engaging story told from the perspective of a couple, George and Magnolia, who are aging in a retirement home somewhere in the South. As Magnolia’s present-day mind withers from dementia/Alzheimer’s, her memories of her childhood tell the story of scarring childhood events that were shared by her brother and her, now husband, friend George. A series of “providential” occurrences bring closure on the past, not only for them, but also for the gentle caretaker who looks after them at the nursing home.
Eyewitness Account: The plot summary hardly does justice to the deep themes that run through this book – themes of childhood, aging, guilt, blessing, curses, and forgiveness. I’ve never read such an interesting tale of how our actions affect the generations after us – the biblical idea of our sins cursing our children and grandchildren. Yet, the author deftly weaves in the parallel biblical truth: that it takes only one person to redeem the generational line back for blessing.
The author absolutely excelled at telling the story through the eyes of different characters – through the insecure and frail George, the mute and sheltered Magnolia, the faithful caretaker, Annie, and the lonely prodigy, Joe. Each voice was distinctly different, and contributed well to the development of both the characters and the plot.
I also loved the element of magic/the supernatural that Seitz brought into the story – like all of the other plot elements, I found it interesting while still being believable (something difficult to pull off!). My only critique is that it was a book that read slowly – probably due to the constant switching between the present and the past. It worked exceptionally well for the characterization, but bogged down the flow of the plot a bit.
I would definitely recommend this for those who like their literary meals with substance and leftovers to think about later!
Other Books Read by This Author: none
★★★★☆ Plot Development
★★★★☆ Writing Style
★★★★★ Original Idea
★★★☆☆ Page Turner