A Thing of Beauty started promising; an old cluttered mansion, an array of junk for art, a distant past of showbiz, cruising down Baltimore, hanging out on your quirky friend’s café. Fiona’s internal struggle feels real and resonated with me. I find myself mulling over the passages relating to her doomed prospects.
Then there was the arrival of Josiah, a local blacksmith who rents a room in Fiona’s mansion as a boarder. He seemed steady and brimming with wisdom, perhaps a balm to Fiona’s restlessness and drifting.
Around halfway through, I got a little lost and am left unsure. In the end, all is well that ends well though I find myself a little bit disappointed. The story soared off in flapping wings, stuttered somewhere in the middle, got confused then veered off from its path, I felt, as if in indecision.
While I felt a little kinship to Fiona, she gradually drifted away to me somewhat the further I read while Josiah, for every succeeding appearance, began to win me over. I gravitated to his presence and couldn't wait to read his turn on the scenes. He was the one luminous character in the book for me while the rest, I must say even Fiona, appear mediocre.
Perchance, I was a bit misled by my own curiosity. The big reveal of the house at the end was perhaps the highlight but I would have gladly read more the exploration of Josiah’s character into the story as well as the rest of the house. The house remains a mystery, with rooms covered with forgotten knick knacks and I was looking forward for a little unveiling along with Josiah’s plans to it.
The book finished before I knew it, albeit too early. It felt like there should be a second book or something. Jack’s character, however relevant and lovely he was, didn’t quite stand out to me though I came to like Brandon. I discovered along the way that there’s a soft spot in me for him.
I hope I didn’t spoil much. In any case, I am surprised it was labelled as Christian fiction because apart from the philosophizing, I could hardly remember some biblical passages. It was still an insightful read and the unraveling of the story will appeal to those who like a nice romantic surprise, find beauty in things and in each of us, climactic crushing set down and the first stirrings of redemption.
Former child star Fiona Hume left the biz a decade ago, after she left rehab. She retreated to Baltimore and bought an old mansion downtown with dreams of restoring it into a masterpiece—maybe creating an artist's studio for herself. And living an artist's life.
That was the plan.
Ten years later, Fiona's huge house is filled with junk purchased at thrift stores, yard sales, or picked up from the side of the road. Each piece was destined for a project, but all she's got so far is a piece of twine with some antique buttons threaded down its length.
Her money has almost run out. She will soon lose her house and will be forced back into acting.
So it is that Fiona comes to rent out a room to a local blacksmith, Josiah. Little by little, Josiah magically transforms Fiona's home into something beautiful. She comes to life again. Her relationships heal and she experiences, perhaps for the first time, what it means to be human, what it means to be loved, and what it means when we let go and allow the wondrous workings of forces far bigger than we are to take over.
Title: A Thing of Beauty
Author: Lisa Samson
Genre: Contemporary, Adult Fiction, Women Fiction
Published: January 13, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Rating: ♨♨♨ ( 3 cups - A story that doesn't go with the plan with a quirky heroine, a dash of Hollywood grit and glamour, an old mansion filled with junk or beauty.)