Christian Fiction Book Club: She Walks in Beauty by Siri Mitchell

December Book Pick: 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!***


  1. The corsets scare me, too! I went through a time where I "almost" could relate to Clara...though my experience was certainly NOT as severe as Clara's!

    I had scoliosis when I was younger, and one of the ways the docs tried to correct it (before doing surgery) was put me in a brace. It just went around my torso and hips, and it didn't squeeze the breath out of me, but I hated it. Always kept me rigid straight, it was really icky to wear during the humid/hot seasons (which is, like, all the time in Florida!). So, yeah, while I didn't have a corset to make my waist smaller, I did have to wear a hard brace around my middle for a good year. I was SO glad when the docs said I could stop wearing it! :-P

    Great discussion post, Renee! This is only my second time joining in on the CFBC, but I SO enjoy it! Will be looking out for them next year! Do you know what book will be discussed next? Or has that yet to be decided? :-)

  2. Wasn't the corset scenes painful? Oh my! I wonder when torture devices in women's fashion became popular? If I could I think I would live in stretchy pants and loose shirts 24/7! I could not imagine being strapped into a corset being unable to take a full breath.

    As far as the next CFBC, I don't know if anyone has headed that up yet. Joy over at Edgy Inspiration was the one that started this one. You might want to pop over there and send her an email to see if she is interested this year.

  3. Hi Katie and Julie! Thank you so much for participating! I'm just popping in this morning before I head out to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Grrr it figures that my tendencies to procrastinate would come back and bite me and interfere with my blogging plans. Anywho ladies after I get back today I'll be stopping by to read your posts. Also anyone else who comments today, I PROMISE I'll come by later!!!

    XOXO~ Renee

  4. Very interesting post. It does seem like many fashion ideas are designed to make women and girls feel bad about themselves, instead of empowered. Too much focus on appearance!

  5. Corsets are scary indeed! In movies girls have passed out wearing those things. LOL.

    Thanks so much for participating ladies! I'm so sorry I dropped the ball the last couple of months but I'm happy you all kept it going!

    Katy, we haven't decided on any future books, and I'm looking for someone to pass the baton to. Anyone interested in taking over CFBC for 2012? It would require polling people in advance for titles, scheduling dates for every 6 weeks and canvasing for hosts. Let me know if you're interested and the job is yours! :)

  6. Hey Renee, it wouldn't accept my link, but I had this up and prepped a while back.

  7. Here, now that I'm back on my computer (not browsing through the Kindle Fire) I can get you a short link to fit in the widget. :)


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