Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Beauty and Attention by Liz Rosenberg - #review

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (October 25, 2016)
The riveting story of one brave young woman’s struggle to free herself from a web of deceit.

For misfit Libby Archer, social expectations for young women in Rochester, New York, in the mid-1950s don’t work. Her father has died, leaving her without parents, and her well-meaning friends are pressuring her to do what any sensible single girl must do: marry a passionate, persistent hometown suitor with a promising future. Yet Libby boldly defies conventional wisdom and plans to delay marriage—to anyone—by departing for her uncle’s Belfast estate. In Ireland, Libby seeks not only the comfort of family but also greater opportunities than seem possible during the stifling McCarthy era at home.

Across the Atlantic, Libby finds common ground with her brilliant, invalid cousin, Lazarus, then puts her trust in a sophisticated older woman who seems to be everything she hopes to become. Fraught with betrayal and long-kept secrets, as well as sudden wealth and unexpected love, Libby’s journey toward independence takes turns she never could have predicted—and calls on courage and strength she never knew she had.



It would be a cold heart indeed that did not have sympathy with an only child packing up her remaining parent's house after his death.  And then wishing to escape a future that seemed like an unfavored dish handed to one on a plate?  Sign me up for the escape!

So Libby takes off for Ireland, where she has relatives ... a definite change of pace.  And further adventures take her even farther away from her home in Rochester...all the way to Italy.  But as it turns out her life was not free of, shall we say, orchestration.

Beauty and Attention is a captivating book newly out from author Liz Rosenberg.  It is as beautifully and carefully written with attention to detail as any painting master takes with a well-known masterpiece.  Libby has a number of experiences definitely not available in New York, or to the 'ordinary' person, yet she is an extremely sympathetic character.  She discovers in herself things we all hope are in ourselves.

I may or may not ever make it to Italy in the course of my lifetime, but now I feel as if I have been there.  I look forward to adding more books from Ms. Rosenberg to my library.



The author of more than thirty books for adults and young readers, Liz Rosenberg has published three bestselling novels, including The Laws of Gravity and The Moonlight Palace. She has also written five books of poems, among them 2008’s Demon Love, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and After Great Grief, forthcoming from the Provincetown Arts Press. Her poems have been heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion. Rosenberg’s books for young readers have won numerous awards and honors and have been featured on the PBS television show Reading Rainbow. A former Fulbright Fellowship recipient, Rosenberg teaches English at the State University of New York at Binghamton, where she earned the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She lives in Binghamton with her daughter, Lily, and a Shih Tzu named Sophie. Although she has homes in New York and North Chatham, Massachusetts, her heart is still in Ireland.


Click on the button to go to the tour page where you will find links to more reviews of this title.  You can also find out how to become a blog host for future book tours.

(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.)


  1. I was in Italy very briefly during a high school trip and I always wanted to go back. I'm sure this book will rekindle that desire for me.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour!

  2. I love books set in a unique place, and this sounds like the kind of book which can take me to Italy despite me never having been there myself. I especially like the sound of it being about starting a new life/journey for yourself.