Tessaro, Kathleen. Elegance. Harper, 2019 (reprint). ISBN 978-0060522278 366 pp. $15.99
Refined. Glamorous. Sophisticated. ELEGANT.
Louise is none of those things as Elegance opens. She is in her early 30s, married to a nice, (yet boring and a little too into house cleaning) man, and feeling a little frumpy. It doesn’t help that her mother-in-law, a former model, and friends mistakenly think that Louise is pregnant because of her tent-like dress. It doesn’t help that her husband has no interest in taking her to bed. It doesn’t help that she is a fairly unsuccessful actress now working at a box office.
One day, while exploring a used book store, Louise discovers a book called Elegance by Madame Dariaux, an exquisite sounding French woman. The book is an alphabetic exploration into what it takes to be a woman of elegance. As Louise attempts to spice up her life by implementing the advice of Madame Dariaux in her own life, she experiments with new lingerie, fur, hairstyles and more. But that’s only on the outside…
I have not finished this book but I really like it so far–I’ve been reading it every spare second I get–I even woke up early this morning to read. Even though the opening scene is a little difficult to get through, as soon as Louise starts reading her special book, the plot picks up as Louise begins her journey of self discovery. I like that it is an imperfect, experimental journey (like life, go figure) and she falls into some situations that I can really identify with.. Also, she has good friends who aren’t afraid to be honest with her… even when it comes to the revealing robe that is in no way appropriate for a roommate living situation.
Let me know what you folks think!