An American Beauty: A Novel of the Gilded Age by Shana Abé

An American Beauty: A Novel of the Gilded Age by Shana Abé





Title:   An American Beauty: A Novel of the Gilded Age by Shana Abe
Author:  Shana Abé
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Genre:  Historical Fiction
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  405
Date of US Publication: 25 April, 2023
My Rating:  5 Stars


My Thoughts 


Tremendously readable historical fiction! I was pulled into this one immediately and read it over two days. 


Reading hangover followed - worth it. 


Based on truth as well as rumors, the author wove An American Beauty together beautifully. You know when you’re reading a book that’s super interesting and you keep at it and at it because you need to - that’s how this one was for me. This was my first book by Ms. Abe and that needs to change; I’m really looking forward to reading more of her work. 


Recommended! 




Thank you to Kensington Books and NetGalley for the DRC!



Description


"Abé is an exquisite storyteller." —Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnolia Palace

The New York Times bestselling author of The Second Mrs. Astor returns with a spellbinding new book perfect for fans of HBO’s The Gilded Age and readers of Marie Benedict, Karen Harper, and Allison Pataki. This sweeping novel of historical fiction is inspired by the true rags-to-riches story of Arabella Huntington—a woman whose great beauty was surpassed only by her exceptional business acumen, grit, and artistic eye, and who defied the constraints of her era to become the wealthiest self-made woman in America.

1867, Richmond, Virginia: Though she wears the same low-cut purple gown that is the uniform of all the girls who work at Worsham’s gambling parlor, Arabella stands apart. It’s not merely her statuesque beauty and practiced charm. Even at seventeen, Arabella possesses an unyielding grit, and a resolve to escape her background of struggle and poverty.
 
Collis Huntington, railroad baron and self-made multimillionaire, is drawn to Arabella from their first meeting. Collis is married and thirty years her senior, yet they are well-matched in temperament, and flirtation rapidly escalates into an affair. With Collis’s help, Arabella eventually moves to New York, posing as a genteel, well-to-do Southern widow. Using Collis’s seed money and her own shrewd investing instincts, she begins to amass a fortune.
 
Their relationship is an open secret, and no one is surprised when Collis marries Arabella after his wife’s death. But “The Four Hundred”—the elite circle that includes the Astors and Vanderbilts—have their rules. Arabella must earn her place in Society—not just through her vast wealth, but with taste, style, and impeccable behavior. There are some who suspect the scandalous truth, and will blackmail her for it. And then there is another threat—an unexpected, impossible romance that will test her ambition, her loyalties, and her heart . . .
 
An American Beauty brings to vivid life the glitter and drama of a captivating chapter in history—and a remarkable woman who lived by her own rules.

“This story of one woman’s ascent offers a fascinating look at the choices she made to become a Gilded Age titan.”— Kirkus Reviews

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