For a young society woman seeking a favorable marriage, so much depends on her social season debut. Clara Carter has been given one goal: secure the affections of the city’s most eligible bachelor. Debuting means plenty of work–there are corsets to be fitted, dances to master, manners to perfect. Her training soon pays off, however, as celebrity’s spotlight turns Clara into a society-page darling.
Yet Clara soon wonders if this is the life she really wants. Especially when she learns her best friend has also set her sights on Franklin De Vries. When a man appears who seems to love her simply for who she is and gossip backlash turns ugly, Clara realizes it’s not just her marriage at stake–the future of her family depends on how she plays the game.
Siri Mitchell, through the eyes of young Clara Carter, takes readers on a journey from girl to woman in the Guilded New York Society of the 1890s. Through corsets designed to constrict women’s waist to 18 inches, gloves several sizes too small, to the practice of pursing lips to make them appear smaller, Mitchell reveals the ugly side of beauty.
In this world, love and friendship aren’t an option, nor physical comfort or well-being. All in the pursuit of a husband and a lifetime of wealth and privilege.
This book sucked me in right away and didn’t let go. The rich descriptions and dialogue transport you to the posh society. Clara’s character is endearing and the reader suffers through the corset pain alongside her. Behind the scenes are the secrets and realities that she’s been shielded from all her life, before the carpet (or Persian rug) are pulled from beneath her silk slippers.
When it all comes unraveled, the rose-colored glasses and all, her true character shines through as does the true hero worthy of her stout heart.
I highly recommend this book – it will not disappoint.
Disclaimer: Bethany House provided me a copy of this book free in exchange for my honest opinion.