BOOK CLUB: The Best Kind of Beautiful

Author: Frances Whiting
ISBN: 9781743535134
Copy courtesy of Pan Macmillan Australia

For years I have enjoyed reading Frances Whiting’s columns in the Sunday Mail, so when the opportunity to read and review her latest novel came up I was delighted to be chosen. Frances has made a seamless transition from newsprint to novels and manages to write characters that are quirky and entertaining, yet believable and endearing, all while displaying her trademark witty style. 

Whiting’s second novel, The Best Kind of Beautiful is the story of Florence Saint Claire, a child star turned land care activist who spends her days either in the local library educating children or in the field revegetating the wilderness. Florence wants nothing more than to leave the fame her family garnered (thanks to their hit Christmas song, Santa was a Jazz Cat), behind her, but that’s easier said than done. Described by her family as a prickly pear, she enjoys her quiet days and equally uneventful weekends. 

Quiet and sometimes a bit lonely,  Florence finds herself drawn to her coworker, Albert Flowers. Albert has a glittering social life and a traditional family with weekly Sunday roasts at his parents house. Florence and Albert share a love for the environment and she looks forward each week to hearing him recount the events of his weekend outings. Neither of them seem to know how to progress their friendship beyond the superficial, but a chance discovery might change everything between them. 

The Best Kind of Beautiful is a charming story of relationships; romantic, platonic and familial. You find yourself laughing and commiserating with the characters that could be members of your own family or friendship group (fame and fortune aside!). A lovely book and one I’d definitely recommend.

Many thanks to Pan MacMillan and Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review this book. 

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading The Best Kind of Beautiful. You can read their comments below, or contribute to the discussion by leaving your own feedback.

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