“You see, I am a poet, and not quite right in the head, darling. It’s only that.” -Edna St. Vincent Millay
Today, my dear friend and writing critique partner, Erika Robuck, has her fourth novel, FALLEN BEAUTY, out on shelves! To celebrate, I’d like to share a bit about Erika and also have a giveaway for one autographed copy of Fallen Beauty (details below). It is the novel to read this spring.
“This finely tuned, lyrical novel is Robuck’s strongest work to date, and destined to become an American classic.” -Simon Van Booy, Award-Winning Author of The Illusion of Separateness and Everything Beautiful Began After (which I personally loved)
Fallen Beauty by Erika Robuck
Fallen Beauty is a historical novel set in 1928 in a fictional town in Upstate New York near Steepletop, the home of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Like two of Erika’s previous novels, Fallen Beauty prods at the hearts of prominent American writers through the lives of other characters close to them.
Her prior subjects and novels: Ernest Hemingway in Hemingway’s Girl and Zelda Fitzgerald, overshadowed wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald in Call Me Zelda, all published by NAL/Penguin. Posts about those novels can be found here and here.
In Fallen Beauty, Millay consigns the town seamstress, Laura, to create her reading costumes. However, Erika took on the voice of Millay in first person in Fallen Beauty as well, which differs from her previous two, and is, in my opinion, the most amazing part about this book.
Millay was a poet and human being like no other. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1923, the third woman to win the prize for that honor.
Millay was not the docile sort of poet and writer, but the extreme opposite, known for her wild eccentricities and savage love affairs, and also her care and support of her mother and sisters.
What I find most remarkable about Fallen Beauty is the way Erika has created a world of contrasts, playing light upon dark, garishness against modesty, societal judgement with tolerance — and makes us as the readers stop to consider them all.
In this story, the self-discovery in both Millay and the seamstress Laura are important and redemptive, and this is where a novel such as Fallen Beauty makes its mark on our world.
Fallen Beauty is the novel to read this spring and would make a perfect book club book. Its story is unforgettable. At times, it is dark, but stick with it to the end. You’ll be glad you’ve journeyed through the story.
A Favorite Quote from Fallen Beauty
“I wish I could be a woman of the world. Instead I am a cloud woman. A tempest.” [Millay]
“Do not begrudge your calling,” says Mother. “It is worthy and wild, but it does not come without a price. All things must be bought at a high cost. Otherwise you’d just live in the town and bake bread or sew things.”
“Don’t you dare call sewing common,” I say. “Don’t belittle that woman. She is far from common.”
“Ah, here you are. Waking up,” says Mother. “She is common. Nothing but a common girl with a bastard child. A fallen beauty. Oldest story in the book.”
The Beauty of the Book
Not only does Fallen Beauty have deckled edges on the pages, but it also has stunning French flaps:
A Bit More …
Many years ago, I met Erika through a chance conversation on writing. From the first exchanges, it became clear we shared many common things, including that we both have three sons. But over time, the seeds of those commonalities have grown. We’ve become dear friends and writing critique partners. Though I haven’t had any of the novels we’ve worked on together published (yet), I’m working in that direction, but getting to work with Erika has been priceless.
Not only does she write daily, she is one of the most disciplined, kind, and warm people I know. Somehow she manages the delicate balance between her mom / wife / family self with her insatiable passion for writing / reading / history. I take notes, often. 🙂
More about Erika Robuck
For more about Erika Robuck, visit her website at http://www.erikarobuck.com, read her interview at Writer Unboxed on Fallen Beauty, or find her on Twitter here and at Facebook here. Also, she may be coming on book tour to a city near you: check here for exact cities and times in MD, AL, GA, NC, SC, VA, and DE.
The Giveaway of an Autographed Copy of Fallen Beauty
To celebrate Erika’s publication day, today only, Tuesday, March 4, I am excited to be able to offer an autographed copy of FALLEN BEAUTY by Erika Robuck to give away! Simply fill in your name and email address into the form below and I will email the winner on Wednesday, March 5.
If you want to help celebrate Erika’s publication day for FALLEN BEAUTY and want to be entered twice in the giveaway, simply share something like this (next line, copy and paste) on Facebook or Twitter and refresh this page to be able to enter again.
Congrats to Erika Robuck on her publication day for her new novel, FALLEN BEAUTY! Enter to win an autographed copy: https://www.jenniferlynking.com/2014/03/04/fallen-beauty-erika-robuck/
Thank you for helping to share the news about the giveaway today, and I hope you and your book clubs mark Fallen Beauty onto your soon-to-be-read list!