Beauty Reborn: A Beauty and the Beast Retelling by Elizabeth Lowham
Beauty has already encountered a beast – a man who knows nothing of love and takes what he wants. Even her family’s loss of fortune doesn’t put her far enough out of his reach for her to feel safe.
When her father returns from the enchanted forest with a stolen rose and reports of a beast, Beauty sees her chance to escape the monster that haunts her. After all, her life has already been stolen from her.
What she finds in the magic castle is nothing like she expected. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll heal enough to love again.
“Perhaps I startled the beast, showing up at its gate alone and empty-handed, looking not remotely like a rose thief.”
The narrative is of a diary style – at times overly descriptive while at others whole sections are brushed over with a single sentence. As the story progresses, we get a more fluid storytelling, as if the author was impatient to get through the beginning.
Parts of the story are told in flashbacks as we learn the full truth of all Beauty endured at the hands of her tormentor.
Beauty Reborn is a beautiful tale of growth and recovery after assault. But Beauty’s growth is not just in healing from what happened to her. In the beginning, she’s thoughtless, often maliciously cruel to her older sister, and thinks she’s smarter than everyone else.
By the end, she has learned kindness – from a beast no less. She’s learned to put others before herself and to consider their wants and needs. And she’s become open-minded.
Beast’s character could have benefitted from a little more development. While their romance was very sweet to watch, he was a little one dimensional.
Overall, Beauty Reborn is an enchanting retelling of Beauty and the Beast that sticks closely to the traditional narrative.
Minor mention of blood, but no descriptive injuries.
I’m giving intimacy a 3, but only because of the topic of assault. I think it’s handled well, but it is a topic readers should be aware of before reading.
(Thank you to Shadow Mountain Press and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.)