Published by: New American Library
Published on: March 4, 2014
Page Count: 384
Genre: Historical Fiction
My Reading Format: ARC sent to me by the publisher in order for me to participate in Erika’s blog tour.
Available Formats: Paperback and eBook
Giveaway! Thanks to the publisher, I am able to offer one lucky reader a copy of Fallen Beauty. If you’d like to be entered in my contest, leave a comment here telling me whether your favorite characters in Historical Fiction tend to be famous historical figures or the purely literary characters in their lives. I’ll use Random.org to select the lucky winner on Thursday, March 6th. Good luck!
Tour Spotlight from the Publisher:
Erika Robuck, critically acclaimed author of Hemingway’s Girl and Call Me Zelda, returns with another fascinating novel featuring a literary figure… this time, charismatic 1930s poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay.
In Fallen Beauty (NAL Trade Paperback; 978-0-451-41890-6; March 4, 2014; $16), Robuck presents vivid new characters while portraying a beautifully eccentric Edna St. Vincent Millay, around whom an electrifying tale unfolds, where the fast pace of the jazz age collides with life in a small, judgmental town.
In the tradition of The Paris Wife and The Aviator’s Wife, Fallen Beauty is a poignant page-turner comprised of fascinating pieces of history immersed in a beautifully written narrative. Robuck captures the radiance and charisma of Edna St. Vincent Millay, the fragility and power of family loyalty, and the ultimate, all-encompassing passion of love in its many forms.
Erika Robuck has appeared on the Southern Independent Bestseller List for Call Me Zelda and is the critically acclaimed author of Hemingway’s Girl. Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Erika was inspired by the cobblestones and old churches. She is a contributor to the popular fiction blog, Writer Unboxed, and maintains her own historical fiction blog called Muse. For more information please visit www.erikarobuck.com, and Twitter @ErikaRobuck.
In a small New York town in the late 1920s, 19 year old Laura Kelley steals away from father’s home in a handmade gold flapper dress and jeweled headband with her forbidden boyfriend ready to have the night of her life as she attends a Ziegfeld Follies show for the first time. High on a mountain above Laura’s sleepy home town, poet Edna St. Vincent Millay is living at Steepletop with her Dutch husband, Eugen. She’s beginning to feel her age and is worried that words are leaving her. Eugen knows that she just needs to discover a new passion, something her open marriage not only allows but encourages. Both women are looking for something elusive and the consequences of their choices have far reaching impacts that ultimately bring their lives together.
Each time I pick up one of Erika Robuck’s novels I love her for her gifts that much more. Hemingway’s Girl kept me up reading late at night. Call Me Zelda hit me close to home in unexpected ways. Fallen Beauty was like a perfect combination of them both. While it seems that I’ve been living in a six month long reading slump, I kept reading Laura and Vincent’s story long after I have typically been growing restless. As I finished the book, I stopped listening to my current audiobook in the car so that I could cram precious paragraphs in at stop lights. As much as I didn’t want it to end, I had to know what happened.
With her writing, Robuck makes the famous historical figures in her novels flesh and blood. Especially with Millay, the poetry of her prose framed the poet’s state of mind expertly. I was finish her section in each chapter feeling caught up in whatever Millay’s free spirit had been manifesting. The key to Robuck’s magic is that she goes beyond the famous historical figure. She pairs him or her with another character who may seem smaller and certainly less significant to the world and gives that character center stage. In this way, she creates a fuller, more complete world. In them Erika Robuck creates literary characters I consider my friends.
I picked up Fallen Beauty entirely conscious of today’s deadline. That pressure flew off my shoulders during the first chapter. Robuck’s writing and storytelling are smooth, gentle, and enticing. Before I laid my head on my pillow that first night, I was anticipating Erika Robuck’s next novel. She’s just that kind of author. Now that I’ve finished Fallen Beauty, I encourage you to read it for yourselves because I know how good it will make you feel as you turn those last pages. Then we can wait impatiently together for what comes next.
Erika’s Tour Dates
You’ve read what I have to say. Check out the other blogs hosting Erika Robuck on her Fallen Beauty Blog Tour. You’ll have an additional chance to win a copy at each stop along the way.
February 22 *Millay’s Birthday*
March 4 *Book Birthday*