The Beauty Shop by Suzy Henderson, 313 pages, Avis Press, November 28, 2016. Genre: Historical Romance. Warning: May Contain Spoilers.
Review by Leigh Holland
I was raised by the Greatest Generation, the men and women of World War II. My grandfather and seven great-uncles served in World War II; two of whom were at Pearl Harbor, although only one of the pair ever made it home. I sat at their feet as a child, drinking in their stories. My heart felt heavy for the depth of the losses they’d suffered. Although The Beauty Shop is fiction, it felt as real to me as those stories I heard firsthand as a little girl.
The historical aspects of the book are impeccable. Never once did I think something was amiss, out of time or place. The author knew the historical period and place and rendered an immersive experience. The descriptive devices brought to bear the horrors of war. The stories of the misfortunes of the minor characters drove home the reality that death could come at any time during war; however, hope remains.
Written in third person narrative style, we follow two heroes through the tale: Archibald “Archie” McIndoe and John “Mac” MacKenzie. Archie is a surgeon, helping pilots who suffered severe burns using the latest techniques. Archie is not a warrior, proving one does not need to fight in a war to be one of the heroes of it. Archie will go to any length to try to restore these men, not just physically, but emotionally as well. Mac is an American fighter pilot who falls in love with Stella, an English girl. Although Stella is with another man, Alex, Mac remains persistent in his efforts to win her over. After Alex mistreats Stella, Stella decides to end their relationship and be with Mac. Mac, however, suffers severe burns when he heroically goes back to the burning wreckage of his plane to save his friend. Archie treats Mac for his burns and helps him see that pushing Stella away would be the wrong choice for both Mac and Stella.
I enjoyed reading The Beauty Shop. Characters were well developed and the book was well written. I felt an array of emotions over the course of the story. I smiled, I gasped in horror, I cried, I yelled, “No, you fool, run after her!” I’d recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical romance.
You can find this book here : “The Beauty Shop”.