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Friday, September 28, 2018

Review: Beauty - A Novel

Beauty reminds me of a "made-for-tv" movie. The plot is straightforward, as is the narrative, and the characters live right up to their stereotype. The story revolves around Carol McLean, whose job at the start of the novel is that of a hatchet-man: flying in to shutdown a firm for liquidation. But she's always wanted to run her own company. Unfortunately, she's about to be laid off in favor of someone cheaper, but at her last shut-down she sees an opportunity.

The story then revolves around a fictional New England fishing town where a fish-sticks factory is located. The factory is slated to be liquidated, but McLean (who was nicknamed "Beast" until she meets a local fisherman who renamed her "Beauty") discovers that the old plant had potential and decides to try to revive it and run it as a going concern instead. The rest of the story relates the obstacle she overcomes (from raising funds to negotiating her exit) in a straightforward way without interspersing narratives or plot twists. There's also a straightforward romance that has no mystery.

The most unrealistic piece of the novel is the protagonist. There might be people who just want their own company but don't care what line of business it's in, but that definitely doesn't strike me as very likely.

The novel is short and easy to read, and would make a decent airplane novel. I'd recommend it as such, but there are probably more interesting reads you can find with relatively little effort.

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