BELLE by Sarah Price

BELLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In an Amish tale not quite as old as time, a young woman marries a disfigured recluse to save her family's farm. Can love blossom from such a thorny transaction?

Just as in the more famous cartoon version of the story, Belle's father is an inventor who's struggling to keep his family afloat. However, when a storm strands him at the home of reclusive Adam Herschberger, his horse dead and his buggy damaged, he ends up selling the farm to the man the local community calls the Beast. After all, without these two crucial items, Belle's daed would be unable to support his daughters. When Belle decides to offer her services as a cleaning lady to Adam in exchange for his allowing her family to remain in their home, he suggests that the one thing he needs is a wife to bear him a son to leave his land to. Predictably, Belle agrees. Isolation has made Adam prickly and unused to interacting with people. He and Belle struggle in their first weeks of marriage. However, when Adam overhears Belle defending him to a townsman, he realizes her commitment and compassion and softens to his new wife. And realizing that Adam is capable of softening helps Belle persist in getting to know him. There's no magic in this particular adaptation of the fairy tale, and it seems like an unusual angle from which to explore a classic story. Are Amish people rallying for representation in romance? Putting aside the theme of Stockholm syndrome that runs through most “Beauty and the Beast” retellings, this could be satisfying for readers who don't like their kissing books to have much more than kissing.

Fine as a chaste novelty, but it may leave non-Amish folks wondering if this is a variation that needs to exist.

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-4201-4504-5
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Zebra/Kensington
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2017




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