As a corporate “undertaker” for a mergers and acquisitions firm in New York, Carol MacLean travels from factory to factory, firing blue-collar workers who remind her of her father and the kids she grew up with. She hates her job. But Carol has been biding her time: her boss has promised that one day, after she has paid her dues, Carol will get to run a company instead of having to bury it.
On what is supposed to be her last assignment, Carol travels up the coast of Massachusetts to a desperate fishing town where the late lobster and day boats cluster around the inner harbor, the blue steeples of the Portuguese church stand tall on the horizon, and the last remaining fish processing plant is in its death throes. That’s when she learns that she’s about to be fired.
To save the town and herself, Carol becomes determined to rescue the factory she’s under orders to shut down. With the help of the townspeople and a roughly charming local fisherman, and by the force of her own resolve, Carol throws herself into transforming the company—but is soon faced with increasingly difficult decisions. Must she choose between the job she has always wanted and everything else?
Beauty explores the ways in which one woman will risk everything—her savings, her reputation, and even a chance at love—in pursuit of her dream.
I really wanted to love Beauty. The premise that Carol goes from firing people and shutting down factories to pulling a small town together to run her own sounds like it would be an inspiring story but unfortunately Beauty was too confusing and unbelievable.
While the writing was very descriptive sometimes it just became too much. It was almost as if Dillen was trying too hard and sentences made no sense until I read them several times. The storytelling also got very choppy at times. There were jumps from one scene to another that just didn't flow well and it confused me for a few lines.
Then you have the story itself. It's way too over the top. (MINOR SPOILERS IN WHITE FONT - HIGHLIGHT TEXT TO READ) Within days Carol scrapes together hundreds of thousands of dollars from this small fishing community, that seems like they're barely scraping by themselves. Then she makes an obscene amount of money selling illegal fish, has an unlikely love story and the book finishes with an the over-the-top, too convenient ending. It was all too much for me and I finished the book unsatisfied.
I personally wouldn't recommend this unless you're already a Dillen fan.