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The Beautiful American

The Beautiful American From Paris in the s to London after the Blitz two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow As recovery from World War II begins expat American Nora T

  • Title: The Beautiful American
  • Author: Jeanne Mackin
  • ISBN: 9780451465825
  • Page: 429
  • Format: Paperback
  • From Paris in the 1920s to London after the Blitz, two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen year old daughter There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famouFrom Paris in the 1920s to London after the Blitz, two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow As recovery from World War II begins, expat American Nora Tours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing sixteen year old daughter There, she unexpectedly meets up with an old acquaintance, famous model turned photographer Lee Miller Neither has emerged from the war unscathed Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts to survive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter s life Lee suffers from what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee s magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever Will Nora s reunion with Lee give them a chance to forgive past betrayals and break years of silence to forge a meaningful connection as women who have shared the best and the worst that life can offer A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beau

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      Jeanne Mackin

    About "Jeanne Mackin"

    1. Jeanne Mackin

      Jeanne Mackin is the author of The Beautiful American and A Lady of Good Family In addition to several other novels as well as short fiction and creative nonfiction, she is the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers and co editor of The Norton Book of Love She lives with her husband in upstate New York.

    995 Comments

    1. Spanning two continents during the years leading up to, during and after the second world war, The Beautiful American tells the story of two women One real and one fictional growing up in changing times In the wake of the war in Europe, expat American Nora Tours is in London, searching in vain for her teenage daughter, Dahlia, when she will meet an old friend, Lee Miller.Through flashbacks we the reader will learn about Nora s upbringing, her first encounters as a playmate with Lee as a child an [...]


    2. This was a ARC win for me thank you very much I have been putting off reading this book because I wasn t sure I would like it boy, was I wrong This is an historical novel about two girls who grew up in the late 1920 s, matured to young women in the 1930 s, withstood the war and aged into the 1940 s One is the beautiful Lee Miller, model, photographer and war correspondent the other a fictional friend who the author created to make Lee Miller come to life in the book I had never heard of Lee Mill [...]


    3. I would like to give this book 3 stars but I just can t One of the reviews on the cover of the book compares this book to The Paris Wife Hah What a joke This book is about the famous though I have never heard of her model and photographer Lee Miller, who was also a lover of Man Ray who at least I have heard of I didn t particularly like any of the characters, least of all Lee Nora, the narrator, is a doormat and her boyfriend Jamie is just sad and predictable The only character who comes out wel [...]


    4. I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy of this wonderful novel and I LOVED every word MacKin takes you into the ex pat world of many famous and fictional artists during the 20s in Paris and beyond, including the Blitz in London Its a beautiful, touching story that s compulsively readable Filled with rich characters and historical detail, I m so excited for people to discover this wonderful novel and cannot wait to read from her.



    5. The Beautiful American is the story of Nora, an American girl that follows her sweetheart overseas to Paris during the Roaring 20s It s there that she meets up with her childhood friend, Lee Miller Before reading this book I had heard of Lee Miller but I didn t really know too much about her Lee Miller is a female photographer and model who worked with the likes of Man Ray and Pablo Picasso She did a lot of surrealist photography and was a larger than life character She is a secondary character [...]


    6. I received the book for free through First Reads.3.5 5 stars, rounded upI read this book in one day It was like a good meal that should be filling but leaves you hungry The story and the characters have a great skeleton there is no meat on the bone Overnight I pondered how it could have been made richer, filling The writing isn t bad, though there were times it felt like English wasn t the authors first language, I didn t hate it from the bio she teaches creative writing at a US college This mo [...]


    7. Jeanne Mackin blends a tale as intoxicating as the finest fragrance Spanning wars both personal and global, A BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN leaves its essence of love, loss, regret, and hope long after the novel concludes My Cover Endorsement


    8. anovelreview 2014An absolutely beautiful novel The novel begins with Nora looking all over Paris for her daughter We don t know how old she is or the situation surrounding her disappearance Only that Nora is looking at places she believes her daughter, Dahlia, would search out While looking for her daughter, Nora runs into her old friend Lee There are a few flashbacks , but when Nora goes off with Lee, the author tells us Nora s story up until current day.The novel isn t one where there is a lot [...]


    9. Beautifully written story of reflection of days gone by We enter the carefree, bohemian artists life pre WWII in vibrant, chic Paris Two women, contrasting characters in personality and lifestyle yet bound by tragedy Polar opposites yet yearning to mirror the other, envious, loathed, betrayed, these two women have an attraction and an unspoken past and secret Lee is manipulative, self absorbed, considering her childhood trauma you understand her questionable ways You can t help feeling for her, [...]


    10. This was a well written entertaining novel about a time period that I ve always found so romantic between WWI and WWII The main character is fictional, but she is friends with the real life Lee Miller I knew nothing about Lee prior to this book, but am captivated by her feminist free spirit Becoming a war correspondent is tough enough for women today, let alone 60 years ago Mackin does a good job presenting this woman outside of her own time, but essentially this is just an interesting story The [...]


    11. Nora runs into Lee Miller in the door of Harrods while she is searching for her missing 16 year old daughter after WWII, and is invited to Lee s house for a weekend party With that set as the frame we flash back to their childhoods, when Nora, the gardener s daughter, was playmate to the wild young heiress Elizabeth Miller The story progresses along Nora s story line, her running away to London and Paris with her boyfriend after high school, and their dreams of being artists But I don t care Nor [...]


    12. I wish there were six stars for Jeanne Mackin s The Beautiful American, a jewel of a novel The characters are compelling, from the protagonist Nora Tours to her friend, model and photographer Lee Miller, Picasso, Man Ray and others The plot is intriguing The settings mostly 1930 s Paris and Grasse are beautiful The time period dramatic But it is Ms Mackin s writing that transports us Not an extra word or scene Everything just perfect The most enjoyable novel I ve read in quite a while.



    13. A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional women.These words copied from the book s summary say it all for me I loved this book and really got into the characters Plus the words used to describe relationships and events were truly beautiful.If you are a romantic, this book is truly worth the read.


    14. I won a paperback copy of this novel from a giveaway contest hosted by France Book Tours This review in its entirety was originally posted at eclectictales eclectictales blog 201Suffice to say the opening scene really grabbed my attention and left me curious to know about Nora and Lee, what brought them into each other s social cirlces, and what drove them apart I really felt for Nora and everything that happened to her throughout this novel She s surrounded by artists embroiled in varying degr [...]


    15. I received this as a giveaway winner and I m very grateful that I won This is a beautifully written book about Nora Tours and her journey from a young girl in Poughkeepsie, NY to Paris and then to Grasse, France The book starts with Nora searching for her 16 year old daughter Dahlia who has disappeared from Grasse right after WWII ending Nora thinks Dahlia will retrace her own footsteps of her life in Paris and London She soon meets her friend Lee Miller, who she has known since they were a litt [...]


    16. Although I liked the writing the descriptions are lovely, and in that area it is very much like The Paris Wife scenes of Paris in the 1920s, doormat narrator , there were so many things about this that irked me 1 Narrator Doormat If I found out my long time boyfriend lover was in bed with Lee Miller, the first words out of my mouth would have been Do you KNOW she s got the clap You ASSHOLE And then I would have begun worrying if he d given it to me, since their affair had been going on several m [...]


    17. The Beautiful American tells the story of Lee Miller, a 20th century model and photographer who became one of the well known faces of the Surrealist movement and the first female war correspondent during World War II.Told from the perspective of fictional character Nora Tours, the novel begins in Poughkeepsie, New York were both girls play together as children They couldn t be different though Lee is the pampered daughter of the local factory owner while Nora is the gardener s daughter A brutal [...]


    18. I was gifted a copy of this book during The Beautiful American blog tour, and once I began reading, I was immediately immersed in the setting and story As a bit of background, let me just tell you I m not an expert on famous artists and I rarely read biographies of artists In fact, I had never heard of Lee Miller, the photographer central to this story While this book is not a biography of Picasso, or Man Ray or Lee Miller, one comes away with the feeling of intimate knowledge of their motivatio [...]


    19. The Beautiful American is an elegantly written novel that explores the lives of two fascinating women whose paths cross several times between childhood and middle age Their experiences will inspire you, make you smile, and leave you with a heavy heart It s a journey not to be missed.Nora is an American living abroad in France but when her sixteen year old daughter turns up missing, Nora s search takes her to London As her search continues where she runs into her old friend, Lee Miller Lee invite [...]



    20. I was very much looking forward to reading this book but when I reached the end all I could think was, Huh That s it As a previous reviewer noted, this book was compared to The Paris Wife, which I enjoyed immensely, but I can t say I agree with that testament.The Beautiful American s narrator, Nora, is a small town girl who as a child is sent to play with the wealthy daughter of a factory owner LiLi Miller Their friendship is tenuous at best and falls apart the day it is discovered that LiLi has [...]


    21. Updated Review I have read several reviews that expressed the opinion that Nora was a doormat and Lee was a much interesting character It is sad to me that the author s intentions for Nora have been lost on so many I personally loved that the author created the character Nora as well as Jaime as a catalyst for these strong famous characters such as Lee Miller, Man Ray, and Pablo Picasso First of all, it makes these celebrities feel tangible, like they are a friend of a friend Second of all, No [...]


    22. The story is told by Nora Tours, a fictional person living in Paris in the 1930 s She grew up with Lee Miller, who was a real person, back in Poughkeepsie and they end up meeting in Paris She then gets to know Pablo Picasso and other contemporaries while her boyfriend Jamie tries to be a famous photographer The first two chapters are set in the present, after WWII is over Nora s daughter disappeared while she was held for questioning as being a Nazi collaborator and Nora is trying to find her Le [...]


    23. The Beautiful American is the story of a real person in a fictional novel The Beautiful American is Lee Miller, an American surrealist photographer who lived in Paris before World War II, then the U.S then England The story is told from the point of view of American Nora Tours, who is a fictional character Nora meets Lee when they are children in Poughkeepsie, New York, and they both end up in Paris I was initially concerned when I realized Lee Miller was a real person in a fictional story, but [...]


    24. To be fair, I read this book after having finished a fantastic novel by the name of Circling the Sun by Paula McLain Whenever a reader finishes a book she s thoroughly enjoyed, it becomes that much difficult for the follow up book to live up to the standard of the previous one This is what I found with The Beautiful American Perhaps my biggest complaint was that I found none of the characters in this historical fiction tale to be sympathetic It wasn t until I read the discussion with the author [...]


    25. Oh my goodness, very deep,dark and full of the unexpected I had never heard of Lee Miller, but now I can t get enough The I research the I think how sad, but how she lived and did not live in her life time She did so much with her life yet it was like she was going through the motions and not really being there just a body who did not want to look at as a body but all the the things she did made her just an object to be looked at until the war Her photo s of the war showed her talent behind th [...]


    26. This is one of those books that when finished I feel a lingering nostalgia for some time Keep remembering parts of it It is about human imperfection, true love and friendship, war and betrayal, kindness and brutality The story feels authentic, honest, believable and is threaded to scents Told by a perfumer as if it were the story of a perfume It opens with the description of the uncorking of a bottle of perfume the initial smell and it deepens the story and the perfume with the top middle and bo [...]


    27. This newest novel The Beautiful American from Jeanne Mackin is a breathtaking look at art and politics in the years leading up to World War II Based on the life of the beautiful Lee Miller, the model turned photographer, it follows the friendship between Lee and Nora, a childhood friend who meets up with her again in the dizzying Paris of the 30 s and 40 s Lee lived bravely, even recklessly, matching the wild surrealists in their search for art and pleasure and eventually making the leap from mi [...]


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