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Monday, May 8, 2023

An American Beauty by Shana Abe

1867 richmond Virginia. A mother desperately trying to hold her family together on the borderline of gentility, a facade really. Catherine knows that her daughter Bella holds the key to dragging the family out of poverty. Right now Bella works at a gaming saloon, gritting her teeth against the liberties taken not just by clients but by the owner Johnny. When she catches the eye of Collis Huntington, Bella and more importantly her mother Catherine ,nows that their future is now secured. Negotiating for a settlement with the finesse of a peace agreement, the terms are all beneficial for the whole family. Bella becomes a part of society never acknowledged, never recognised but Bella is pragmatic and sets herself on a goal and future which can never be shaken. Acquiring real estate, bringing up her son, remaining loyal to her benefactor despite being attracted to his nephew, she steers a very lever path up the ladder eventually marrying Collis when his wife dies. The story is good because it lies in the cleverness of the story telling of the author who keeps you enthralled every step of the way. The characters were beautifully depicted, weaknesses and strengths in equal measure. Sent by Kensington Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.

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