The Beautiful American

  • by Jeanne Mackin
  • Narrated by Kate Reading
  • 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From Paris in the1920s to London after the Blitz, two women find that a secret from their past reverberates through years of joy and sorrow.
As recovery from World War II begins, expatriate American NoraTours travels from her home in southern France to London in search of her missing 16-year-old daughter. There she unexpectedly meets up with an oldacquaintance, famous model-turned-photographer Lee Miller. Neither has emergedfrom the war unscathed. Nora is racked with the fear that her efforts tosurvive under the Vichy regime may have cost her daughter's life. Lee suffersfrom what she witnessed as a war correspondent photographing the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.
Nora and Lee knew each other in the heady days of late 1920s Paris, when Nora was giddy with love for her childhood sweetheart, Lee became the celebrated mistress of the artist Man Ray, and Lee's magnetic beauty drew them all into the glamorous lives of famous artists and their wealthy patrons.
But Lee fails to realize that her friendship with Nora is even older, that it goes back to their days as children in Poughkeepsie, New York, when a devastating trauma marked Lee forever. Will Nora's reunion with Lee give them achance to forgive past betrayals and break years of silence to forge a meaningful connection as women who have shared the best and the worst that life can offer?
A novel of freedom and frailty, desire and daring, The Beautiful American portrays the extraordinary relationship between two passionate, unconventional women.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Two Friends

Nora and Lee were once friends while they lived in Poughkeepsie, New York. They both met up again in Paris where there were parties, fun and lots of men. Nora came with her boyfriend, Jamie. but Lee took him away and Nora left Paris. Pablo Picasso found her a home in France, where Nora would find a safe haven to have her baby and raise her. However, at the age of 16, while Nora had to find a way to get herself out of trouble, which took a couple of days, her daughter wasn't at home when she returned.

The book was good but took too long to get to the theme of the story. I was about to quit listening quite often but once I was about three-quarters into the book, I continued to listen until the end. The narrator gave me a problem from the beginning. Kate Reading, the narrator, had what I would call a breathy voice. She kept ending the sentences with that irritating sound that made me want to quit. I think that with a better narrator, the book may have been a better listen.
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- Pamela Dale Foster

Simply wonderful

The Beautiful American was simply wonderful - a great story, well developed characters, masterful narration. I felt like the book had so many themes relevant to all: universal human imperfection, true love and friendship, war and betrayal, kindness and brutality. The story feels authentic, honest, believable, with a very satisfying ending. This one stands out. I was thoroughly engaged, and will be looking for more by Jeanne Mackin.
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- nursebettyknitting

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2014
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.