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Full Version: BB-Reader Review: "Only the Beautiful"
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Reader Review: "Only the Beautiful"

by Becky H (Manassas, VA): This two-pronged story tells of the young vinedresser's daughter, Roseanne, who is orphaned and then turned into a maid/servant by her supposed guardians. The inter twining story tells of Roseanne's "aunt" who has shown her great kindness and love, but is far away in Europe facing her own devils when Roseanne's parents die. These two stories are dependent on each other as they tell of man's inhumanity to man and also great love and resilience. Meissner is able to show both good and characters in all their faults, but also their humanity. She has done her research on vine dressing, wine making and on Europe in the years preceding and during Hitler's rise. Meissners' great ability to empathize with her characters and cause them to grow and change in the course of the story makes the novel radiant with life. Book groups will have many topics to discuss – meaning of family, child abuse, discrimination, grief, adoption, exploitation of minors, mental health, abusive laws, sterilizations, love, empathy and more.

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