Today is my first day back to work after the holidays. Winter break went by way too fast. Hopefully this first day back won’t be too rough.
I was sent a digital copy of the book Beauty by Christina Chiu a while ago and read it over my break. I knew the synopsis going into it, but it still wasn’t what I was expecting. Not in a bad way, I enjoyed the book!
Beauty follows Amy Wong from the time she’s a teenager all the way to when she’s in her 70s and a grandmother.
For her entire life, Amy has loved fashion. Her father was involved with fashion and her mother lives and breathes fashion. When her father leaves her mother for his mistress, her whole life changes. The choices she makes in her life throughout fashion school, her personal life, the relationships she enters into – one can’t help but think about how much of our upbringings shape who we become or what choices we make.
Her dreams of becoming a designer are derailed because she is always sacrificing her career and aspirations for the sake of her relationships. And they’re pretty much all bad relationships. At times I would read the novel and get so frustrated with the decisions Amy would make or lack thereof, and be screaming in my head, “Why??!” She’s like that friend you have that you want to shake and knock some sense into because what they’re doing is stupid. At the same time if it was you, you might not take your own advice and also do things that others think is dumb or things that make others feel like you should know better. The age-old saying “easier said than done” perfectly applies to this novel.
I think this novel is totally relatable. While I’ve never been in abusive (physically, emotionally, or otherwise) relationship, I think we can all relate to that idea that we’ve let too much time pass or we’ve wasted too much time putting things off or giving things up for other people and wish we could get that time back. It’s like you look around and you don’t know how you got here and how you let so much time slip by. I also don’t think you need to be in an abusive relationship to be familiar with manipulative people, because that is seen too in the novel.
There is one quote from the book that really stuck with me, “How is it possible for a person to devolve from believing that anything is possible, to someone who believes nothing is possible?”
I liked the novel and I think it’s worth a read. It’s not going to be your typical dream come true, love story novel, but it is tragically realistic in some ways.
*I was sent this book complimentary, but all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links.*