First impressions: I decided to read this novel after finding it on a Beauty & the Beast adaptations list on Goodreads. Beauty is currently ranked as #74 on this list on Goodreads.
Alix Miller’s family has painted the portrait of each Crompton family member for generations. When Alix’s father is too ill to travel to the current heir’s mansion, he sends Alix as a replacement. After hours of driving, Alix arrives at a secluded mansion where she meets Leland Crompton a reclusive man disfigured by a genetic disease. As Alix begins to work on Leland’s portrait, she begins to uncover the true man behind the deformity.
About the Book
Author: Susan Wilson
Year Published: 1996
Genre: fiction, romance, Beauty & the Beast retelling,
Last week I wrote a review of Alex Flinn’s Beastly, which is also an adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Which one did I like more? Read on to find out!
Beauty by Susan Wilson is a rewriting of Beauty & the Beast with a twist. The setting is not a magical fairyland with household objects who are under a spell that can only be broken by true love’s first kiss. Instead, the story is a realistic portrait of a young man whose own self-worth is distorted by a disease which has caused him to gradually become deformed. Unlike Beauty & the Beast where the “beast” transforms from a monstrous creature into a prince, the “beast” in this novel doesn’t change his appearance. Instead, he transforms his outlook on life and how he sees value in himself. The exploration of inner beauty is an interesting approach for a story based on the timeless fairy-tale of Beauty & the Beast.
This is my second time reading this book. It is a delightful adaptation of Beauty & the Beast, and guaranteed it will make you cry at some point. Even during my second time around reading this book, I teared up in certain places. I enjoyed its realistic storyline which demonstrates that the story of Beauty & the Beast has a real-world application. Instead of solely focusing on Alix’s gradual realization of her love for Leland, the story tends to focus on Leland’s gradual acceptance of his deformities.
The novel is a quick and easy read. Wilson’s writing style is slightly lacking in places. Instead, her strength appears to be the plotline she has created rather than how she tells the story through Alix’s perspective. The surprise twist at the end was a little unnecessary. It seemed as if the author placed it in for dramatic effect rather than as a necessity to the overall plotline. Overall, I would say that this is a good romantic chick-flick sort of novel.
Final rating: B
Until next time,