Monday, August 9, 2010

Review- All That Is Beautiful, by Roxane Tepfer Sanford

Roxane Tepfer Sanford,
Lumina Press, JUNE 2010,

Synopsis from the publisher:

It is the year 1878, and at last, Lillian, now a young woman, is free from the prison called Sutton Hall and the evil grandmother who ruled. After years locked away and far from her beloved lighthouse on Jasper Island, she finds her only escape through sheer luck and the generosity of one man, Richard Parker, an aspiring commercial illustrator. Though Lillian is shamed by the sins of her parents, and the unspeakable act committed by Warren Stone, she entrusts her life to the charismatic, though married, Richard Parker, until it is safe to return home.

However life, as unpredictable as the sea, has other plans for Lillian.

Not long after leaving, she is caught up in an adult world of money, greed, drugs, and sinful pleasures, turning her life upside down once again.

It is only when Lillian discovers the shocking truth to Richard’s cruel years of deception that she finally returns to her lighthouse, desperate to recapture her lost years, and most of all, lost love.

But fate has one more devastating surprise in store, leaving Lillian with incomprehensible choices, and ultimately, tearing her beautiful new world apart.

My Evaluation:

Lillian Arrington was first introduced in The Girl in the Lighthouse. After reading the first book, one would think that Lillian had lived through enough and had endured enough. In the sequel, All That is Beautiful, Lillian begins what she expects to be a new life, full of promise. One that she hopes will allow her to forget the scars of her past. It seems her destiny is a tragic one. As I began to read, I wondered if she would ever recover?

There are times when I think Lillian is a selfish little brat, childlike and unrealistic. Yet, she really is still a child, and had never really lived a normal childhood. Even though at times she appears confused, disillusioned and living in a fantasy, her character survives. You may come to embrace or at least understand her actions when you reflect upon her past. She is desperate for love, desperate for a happy and safe life. After returning to Jasper Island she believes she has found solace.

Sometimes the sequel to a book does not live up to the original. Roxane Tepfer Sanford has written a startling and touching end that offers dramatic closure. All That Is Beautiful is a delicate journey, a story of Lillian’s precipitous life. Soulfully memorable with the potential for unimaginable tears, this is a story that will paralyze your heart.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].


Aisle B said...

Love the cover for All that is Beautiful. Will have to look up this author to discover her more. First time I hear of her.

Another inciteful review and temptation to buy it is definitely there.

wisteria said...

Aisle B
I wanted to add a personal note after my review. The last three chapters I was bawling..sobbing really.