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Feb 18, 2014

Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck (Blog Tour & Giveaway)

See below on how to enter for the giveaway copy of FALLEN BEAUTY (U.S. entries only).

Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
Penguin NAL March 4, 2014
384 pages paperback
Review copy provided by the publisher in exchange for this honest review
Burton Book Review Rating: 4 stars

“Without sin, can we know beauty? Can we fully appreciate the summer without the winter? No, I am glad to suffer so I can feel the fullness of our time in the light.”

Upstate New York, 1928. Laura Kelley and the man she loves sneak away from their judgmental town to attend a performance of the scandalous Ziegfeld Follies. But the dark consequences of their night of daring and delight reach far into the future.…

That same evening, Bohemian poet Edna St. Vincent Millay and her indulgent husband hold a wild party in their remote mountain estate, hoping to inspire her muse. Millay declares her wish for a new lover who will take her to unparalleled heights of passion and poetry, but for the first time, the man who responds will not bend completely to her will.…

Two years later, Laura, an unwed seamstress struggling to support her daughter, and Millay, a woman fighting the passage of time, work together secretly to create costumes for Millay’s next grand tour. As their complex, often uneasy friendship develops amid growing local condemnation, each woman is forced to confront what it means to be a fallen woman…and to decide for herself what price she is willing to pay to live a full life.

Every once in a blessed while we come across an author who has such a writing voice that we eagerly anticipate their next work when it is years away. Erika Robuck is such an author for me as I discovered her in 2009/2010. Rising swiftly among the ranks of the most accomplished historical fiction authors, Erika diligently researches her next subject and she takes her readers along on a wonderful adventure as she shares her talented way of storytelling with us.

The story of eccentric Edna St. Millay was a new one to me, and her shocking lifestyle threatened to thwart my wish to enjoy this novel. Thankfully the author created a counterpart to the tormented poetess with her fictional character Laura, who embodied the opposite that the poet was. Laura's life spins out of control however, causing her to become ostracized and the fallen beauty the title suggests. The partnership between Laura and Millay is tenuous, secret and yet something so poisonous it is a wicked thrill to watch how the author imagines the intermingling of mere mortals with someone so evocative and far out of society's realm that the poet Millay was.

While previous works of Erika Robuck had me passionately at hello, Fallen Beauty took a bit to get started. I think it was because of the sexual nuances surrounding Millay which I was afraid was going to explode onto the pages, but that never happened. My initial trepidation was unfounded, as the whole of this poignant story of loss and redemption was a tale of such powerful woe that it is a wonder I didn't become depressed. The redemption part helped round out the story, and as usual for a Robuck novel, the portrayal should make Edna St. Millay extremely proud - if only to be resurrected once again for another era.

Click here for my previous posts featuring Erika Robuck and:
My review of Call Me Zelda
My review of Hemingway's Girl
My review of Receive Me Falling

Please follow along the tour with the next few stops upcoming:

About the Author:
Erika Robuck, credit Catsh Photography LLC

Erika Robuck has appeared on the Southern Independent Bestseller List for Call Me Zelda and is the critically acclaimed author of Hemingway’s Girl. Born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, Erika was inspired by the cobblestones and old churches. She is a contributor to the popular fiction blog, Writer Unboxed, and maintains her own historical fiction blog called Muse. For more information please visit, and Twitter @ErikaRobuck.

Erika Robuck will embark on a national tour in March! For more information on Erika’s tour events, please visit and participating bookstore websites.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway
Please follow the instructions on the rafflecopter form. The only mandatory entry is the first one. Open to USA Residents only, courtesy of the publisher. Not responsible for lost mail. Good luck!