Cover image for
Beauty : a novel
Wilson, Susan, 1951-
Personal Author:
Physical Description:
200 pages ; 22 cm
Pub Date:
Crown Publishers, 1996.


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Closed stacks fiction Closed stacks book WILSO

On Order



Every reader is familiar with the popular tale of Beauty and the Beast. But what if the fairy tale came true? Beauty tells the story of a modern woman who learns to love the deeper man, beyond all appearances; it is a totally credible, contemporary retelling of the classic tale. First serial to Good Housekeeping.

Author Notes

Susan Wilson lives in Martha's Vineyard with her husband & two daughters.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Revisionist fairy tales with a message are definitely a '90s thing, and Wilson's lightweight but strained debut is a retelling of the classic story of Beauty and the Beast. The latter is Leland Crompton, a rich recluse who lives on a remote estate in New Hampshire's White Mountains, writing mysteries under the nom de plume of Harris Bellefleur and hiding his grotesquely deformed face. Yet family tradition dictates that his portrait must be painted, and Alix Miller, aka Beauty, is the latest of her family of artists to accept the commission. Of course, Alix, who narrates, has an unworthy boyfriend-oblivious and selfish photojournalist Mark. And, of course, she is ready for true love. Wilson spins her tale with some skill, but her stilted dialogue is clunky with platitudes ("You know that the friends of adversity are friends forever"). Leland is an appealing character, however. With his generosity and his gracefulness as he skates, he demonstrates that real beauty is active, found in movement and deed, not in the static medium of a portrait. His self-effacing humor is refreshing: When posing for Alix, he quips, "As you can see, I have no bad side." In opting for a weeper of an ending, however, Wilson pushes her love story over the brink into the kind of bathos that only romance addicts will embrace. Major ad/promo; first serial to Good Housekeeping. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

A first novelist tells an up-to-date Beauty and the Beast. First printing: 60,000 copies. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-This novel based on the fairy tale "Beauty and the Beast" makes no attempt to duplicate the fantasy and magic of Robin McKinley's Beauty (HarperCollins, 1978), but the love story told is equally compelling. This is a Beauty of the `90s, facing her beloved father's death from cancer and involved with a handsome man wrapped up in his career. Beauty, an artist, meets Beast, a reclusive writer, when she is asked to paint his portrait. She ultimately proclaims her love for him, but he rejects her; the final metamorphosis of Beast is not a physical, but an emotional one: he must recognize that he is lovable in spite of his misshapen face and body. YAs will enjoy this romance, and will be challenged by the issues it addresses: how one can be a loving daughter or son to a dying parent, and how one faces the possibility of conceiving a child who may be born with a severe genetic defect. Finally, how does one get beyond appearance to find the heart and soul of a person?-Molly Connally, Kings Park Library, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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