About the Book:
Title: Beauty Reborn
Author: Elizabeth Lowham
Page Length: 208
Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Synopsis: Yes, I went to the woods to save my father. But I also went hoping I would be eaten by the Beast. Because I didn’t think anything else could save me.
Beauty’s life is the stuff of fairy tales. The youngest in her family, Beauty isn’t trying to catch Stephan’s eye. He is the lord baron’s heir, well above her family’s modest station, but when he kisses her hand at a party, Beauty is swept away by his charm, his wit, and his passionate declarations of love.
Hearts can be untamable creatures, especially when touched by the fires of first love, and Beauty doesn’t see the truth of Stephan’s intentions until it is too late. Until he stops asking for Beauty’s love—and simply takes it from her one night despite her refusal.
Beauty locks away the secret of what happened to her, and when her father emerges from the enchanted forest with a stolen rose in his hand and the tale of a vicious beast on his breath, Beauty seizes the chance to run as far from Stephan as possible.
She has some experience with beasts, after all. Certainly the one in the forest couldn’t be any worse than the one she’s already encountered.
Breaking the Beast’s curse might be the key to discovering her own path to healing—and finding the courage to allow herself to feel reborn.
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I can never resist a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and Elizabeth Lowham’s Beauty Reborn offers a unique spin on the original tale. It’s a captivating story with contemporary themes and issues, and I became really invested in Beauty’s journey.
The story includes many of the classic Beauty and the Beast elements. The destitute father who steals a rose from Beast’s garden, the ungrateful siblings, the magical setting, and the Beast’s curse are all part of the story. However, the novel doesn’t focus as much on the fantastical elements as we often see in Beauty and the Beast retellings. Instead, it is a story of grief, healing, learning to trust, and sacrifice. It follows Beauty’s journey as a survivor of abuse and shows how she faces her trauma.
Beauty and Beast are both compelling characters with interesting backstories. Healing from the trauma of abuse, Beauty’s life isn’t as charmed as it might seem. Her story, while in a fantastical setting, addresses issues that women today face. I liked her growth and thought her arc was powerful and emotional. I liked Beast, too, and found it interesting that the story also focuses on his trauma. This aspect of his story is often glossed over, but the curse has affected Beast profoundly. He, like Beauty, learns a lot about himself and heals as his relationship with Beauty grows. And I love how Beast respects Beauty’s boundaries even when he’s forced to ask her a question he already knows the answer to. His kindness and sincerity not only contrasts the other men in Beauty’s life and his frightening appearance but also highlights how unfair and punishing his curse is.
Though the secondary characters weren’t as developed as Beauty and Beast, it works well in the story. Like the classic piece, the focus remains on Beauty and Beast. I feel like the less-developed characters are meant to be stagnant archetypes that highlight the many layers and immense growth of the protagonists. That being said, I would have liked a little more development of these characters, the plot, and the fantasy elements, especially because I loved the author’s writing style.
Overall, I thought this was a unique retelling with some really powerful messages. I would recommend it to readers who enjoy reimaginings but would recommend checking out the content warnings before reading, as there are elements of the story that could prove triggering.
Special thanks to Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The character growth.
- The writing style.
I trust no man’s word. But a beast’s may have a chance.
In nature, there was always a scar to betray the shattered, and that was if they managed to heal at all.
I would recommend this novel to readers who enjoy Beauty and the Beast retellings. However, I would suggest reading the content warnings before starting the book as there are elements that could prove triggering.