She Walks in Beauty
During New York City’s Gilded Age . . .
The game is played amid banquets and balls.
The prize is a lifetime of wealth and privilege.
The rules will test friendships and the desires of a young woman’s heart.
Clara Carter is the social season’s brightest star . . . but at what cost?
"As far as Clara Carter is concerned, her aunt had just ruined everything. Instead of having another year to seriously study with her governess, Miss Miller, Clara must now prepare for her society debut simply because Franklin De Vries has returned home early from his grand tour of Europe. What is even worse is that Clara will be competing with her best friend, Lizzie Barnes, for the chance to marry New York City's most eligible bachelor. Clara knows how important securing Franklin's offer of marriage is to her aunt and family, but as New York's social season continues on its merry way, Clara finds herself hoping that if she receives an offer of marriage from a De Vries, it will be from Franklin's brother Harry. Mitchell's superbly written inspirational historical romance brilliantly evokes both the fabled glitter and the realistic grime of New York's Gilded Age with skill and subtlety inspired by Edith Wharton."
--John Charles, Booklist, April 1, 2010
"Claire Carter is a reluctant debutante. She believes she has an entire year more before her debut, when she must act on her social obligations to secure money and position by marriage for her family. Until, unexpectedly, her aunt announces that Claire will be debuting this season instead of the next. A very important heir will be in town for the season, and he must, be Claire's catch of the day. Problems arise when Aunt realizes Claire has no social training.
"She Walks in Beauty offers an engaging look into what society required of American debutantes in 1891, and is an amusing tale of a girl who doesn't feel she belongs in the life God has placed her."
--Kelsey Shade, CBA Retailers + Resources, April 2010
"During New York City's Gilded Age, motherless Clara Carter debuts at the same time as her best friend, Lizzie. Lizzie's mother's determination that her daughter will win the hand of wealthy Franklin DeVries clashes with Clara's aunt who lacks no scruples in forcing her to practice pretentious behavior to catch Franklin's eye. Clara has no alternative but to comply with her aunt's heartless, unreasonable restrictions. After she learns about her father's unprincipled connection with the Bowery, she confronts her aunt and then gives her attentions to Franklin's brother Harry who has shown her through guarded conversations that she has value in the Lord's eyes.
"Readers who love historical novels will get an accurate picture of the Gilded Age as they suffer along with Clara and her aunt's callous attempts to ensure she captures Franklin and lives a privileged life ever after."
--HIM, Christian Retailing, Summer 2010
"The Gilded Age in New York City, 1891, is for the wealthy and debutantes; a magical place filled with glitz and glimmer, and of course: marriage proposals. But for teenage Clara Carter and her friend Lizzie Barnes, the season is a time of nerves, stress, and oppression. Clara's father and aunt are determined that she marry. And mary no one but Franklin De Vries, heir to the De Vries fortune. Added to the terror of their first season, and the realization that Lizzie's family also expects Lizzie to marry Franklin, is the pressure Clara feels from her family, especially when they hire a news reporter to cover her every move and to make sure she gets noticed in the society pages.
"Unfortunately for Clara, she discovers Franklin is a pompous, nasty fellow. And her heart begins to beat fast every time she meets his goofy younger brother, Harold, instead. Clara must learn to navigate the gossip, the pressure, and the expectations of society as she struggles to follow her heart as well as her familial duties.
"Mitchell has crafted a delightful novel that sparkles lik the ballrooms in her story. Clara epitomizes the struggles young debutantes of the age suffered from the tight corsets to the oppressive expectations of society, and her trials and tribulations are expertly written. However, the sudden bits and pieces dealing with poverty and Clara's attempts to understand class differences seem out of place and are not dealt with fully. I was a bit disappointed that Mitchell never entirely tackled these aspects or gave Clara the chance to fully change and grow. Overall though, this is a lovely romantic read."
--Rebecca Roberts, Historical Novels Reviews, Issue 53, August 2010
"Mitchell's new historical novel, set in Gilded Age New York, is filled with romance, adventure and amazing characters. Her protagonists are strong in spirit and their faith.
SUMMARY: Clara Carter has been informed by her aunt that she will be making her society debut and that it is in her best interests to snag the richest, most eligible bachelor, Franklin DeVries. When Clara learns that her best friend also has her sights on Franklin, and she realizes all the hard work she has to do to win, she questions whether it's worth pretending to be someone she's not in order to secure her family's future."
--Patsy Glans, Romantic Times Book Reviews, April 2010