Author: Frances Whiting
Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia
For years I have enjoyed reading Frances Whiting’s columns in the Sunday Mail, so when the opportunity to read and review her latest novel came up I was delighted to be chosen. Frances has made a seamless transition from newsprint to novels and manages to write characters that are quirky and entertaining, yet believable and endearing, all while displaying her trademark witty style.
Whiting’s second novel, The Best Kind of Beautiful is the story of Florence Saint Claire, a child star turned land care activist who spends her days either in the local library educating children or in the field revegetating the wilderness. Florence wants nothing more than to leave the fame her family garnered (thanks to their hit Christmas song, Santa was a Jazz Cat), behind her, but that’s easier said than done. Described by her family as a prickly pear, she enjoys her quiet days and equally uneventful weekends.
Quiet and sometimes a bit lonely, Florence finds herself drawn to her coworker, Albert Flowers. Albert has a glittering social life and a traditional family with weekly Sunday roasts at his parents house. Florence and Albert share a love for the environment and she looks forward each week to hearing him recount the events of his weekend outings. Neither of them seem to know how to progress their friendship beyond the superficial, but a chance discovery might change everything between them.
The Best Kind of Beautiful is a charming story of relationships; romantic, platonic and familial. You find yourself laughing and commiserating
Many thanks to Pan MacMillan and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review this book.
A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Best Kind of Beautiful. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback.
Ever since I was a little girl my family and friends have known not to bother talking to me if I’m reading, so immersed I become in my book that I am completely oblivious to everything happening around me. I love to read a variety of books, though now with a busy life with kids and work I tend to find myself gravitating more towards easy reads that can be picked up and put down at a moments notice. One of the things I love about Beauty and Lace is that I’m exposed to books I otherwise might not have had an opportunity to read.
Reading is my first and and oldest means of escape and down time, as an introvert it gives me time to relax and reset. I also enjoy sewing and recently started a vegetable garden, which also gives me that sense of calm and accomplishment. With 7 and 9 year olds I am so happy that they are now of an age to sit quietly and enjoy reading a novel, I love that the next generation of readers is well and truly being established!