She Walks in Beauty

She Walks in Beauty is the title of Siri Mitchell’s gilded age, historical fiction novel–it’s also one of the most delightful lines of poetry ever penned. And Lord Byron factors into this novel via a first edition keepsake for our main character, Clara. I’d love to go on and on about Siri’s engaging characters and fascinating time period–if you’ve loved Edith Wharton’s novels you love Siri’s–but I have a sunburn and I’m a bit too achey to go on and on about anything. As I was on the deck reading about Victorian women who’d cinch their waists and essentially develop anorexia to achieve the desirable 16″ waist that was the rage back then, I was in a non-corseted swim suit exposing winterized skin to the sun for the first time in 2010. I’m afraid I got a bit too wrapped up in the forced courtship of the main characters to recognized that my skin had fried. So, before I submerge myself in aloe vera, trust me on this . . .this novel, like the others books I’ve read by Siri, is wonderful. Her research is refreshing in its unusual details and observations and her style is excellent. Now . . .where’s my ibuprofen and orange juice chaser??