Christian Fiction Book Club: She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell
Okay so as you may know I love history as a matter of fact I have a degree in it. One of my very favorite eras in the history of our nation is the Victorian Era. From the clothing, the attitudes, the transitioning of our nation and the mystique of the upper-crust society I love it all and anytime I can read a book that combines my love of all things Gilded Age with my other love, romance I'm thrilled. Siri Mitchell moved to my must-read list after her 2010 book, She Walks in Beauty. Not only is the cover amazing but the story between the pages is magnificent as well, it was definitely on my 2010 favorite books list and is still quite possibly one of the best books I've read period. When Joy and Serena @ Edgy Inspirational Romance were taking volunteers to lead up the December book club for this book I jumped at the chance. If you've read the book feel free to join in and even if you haven't you can still join in the discussion! So--let's dish!
Did you discover anything new about this time period? Did anything surprise or shock you?
Since the Victorian era is something I studied up on in high school and college nothing new about the period caught my attention while reading this but it did remind me just how much women had to suffer...for fashion. The corset scene in this book (or if you haven't read it, the famous corset scene from Gone with the Wind) makes me shudder. Within the very first pages just what it meant to be a "lady" in the 19th century is enough to make one's head spin! To have to whittle a 22 inch waist down to an 18 inch waist is almost unthinkable and to wear a corset with 600 bones in it 24/7 seems like pure torture. I don't care if girls wore corsets almost their entire lives, there is no way to get used to that kind of discomfort. I guess most of us today should be glad that corsets went out decades ago and all we have to put up with is underwire in our bras.
Fashions through the ages have often been created on the assumption that people aren't shaped correctly. What apparent flaws does modern fashion try to correct? What is today's ideal standard of beauty?
Almost every time you open up a magazine or even read the inserts in the newspaper you see things promoting some kind of women's fashion, advertisements for jeans that "hide the tummy" or "instantly slim you" or a bra that conceals that "unsightly" back bulge. There are sooo many products out there that suck it all in, push it up or even claim to burn it off that it's crazy! I'm pretty sure that modern fashion tries to correct anything and everything. Need proof? go HERE. I guess in some way the undergarments we wear are the 21st century's version of the corset. Heaven forbid if you wear that cocktail dress and you see even a hint of (dare I say it?) flab. Eeep. Don't you know you're supposed to look like a Victoria's Secret model? Even though as a society we are becoming more accepting of "curves" so to speak if you look at advertising and what we're bombarded with on TV and on the newsstand thin is still in.
***Even though I answered the questions pertaining to looks and fashion please feel free to check out the rest of the discussion questions HERE. I'd love to know what your thoughts are on the book or the time period it's set in. :-) If you set up a post on your blog please enter it on the Linky below!***