Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Only the Beautiful” by Susan Meissner, Berkley Publishing, April 18, 2023

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OMG! WOW! Kudos to Susan Meissner, the author of “Only the Beautiful,” for writing such a powerful, captivating, riveting, and heartfelt novel. As I write this, I am wiping tears away with Kleenex. Of course, I had to use my inhaler, for those of you who know me, since I was so emotionally affected by the author’s amazing writing style. I am a big fan of Susan Meissner; this book is one of her top creations. The author is a master at her craft and has created a masterpiece.
The genres for this novel are Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and World War Two, with a touch of Mystery and Suspense. Two timelines in this novel do connect. One started in California in 1938, and the other was in Austria in 1947. The story takes place in California and the United States and is set in Austria, Vienna, and Switzerland.
The author vividly describes her colorful and dramatic characters as complex and complicated. Due to the timeline, some characters are “good,” and characters are “evil.” There are betrayals, greed, power-hungry individuals, and danger.

Roseanne is a 16-year-old orphan taken in by the owners of the vineyard in California that her parents had worked for. She is treated as a maid. Roseanne sees colors when she hears sounds, and before her parent’s tragic accident, her mother had warned her to hide those characteristics. Roseanne becomes pregnant, and the owner sends her to a special home for disturbed people. She has no idea what lies in store for her.
The wine owner’s sister Helen Calvert is in Austria in 1947, working as a Nanny. She witnesses Hitler’s Eugenics programs that affect Jewish people and handicapped children and adults. One of the children she watches is handicapped, and she will never forget what happened.
Susan Meissner discusses how being “different” can be ugly and beautiful. It is so difficult to think of the tragedy of Hitler’s cruel brutality, and yet, in the United States, handicapped people are discriminated against in terrible ways. This emotional, memorable, and thought-provoking novel touched me. I highly recommend it for others to read.

1 comments on “Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Only the Beautiful” by Susan Meissner, Berkley Publishing, April 18, 2023”

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