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Summary

Petra Durst-Benning's captivating historical novel pays homage to the trailblazing women of the early twentieth century - like Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder - who shaped culture, shattered convention, and strived to make the world around them more beautiful.

Despite all that Clara Berg has achieved as a wife, mother, and chemist - especially for a woman in turn-of-the-century Berlin - ending her abusive marriage comes at great cost. The judge hands her inheritance - her parents' pharmacy - over to her ex-husband. Now, with her reputation in near ruins thanks to the scandal that rocked her marriage, no reputable chemist will hire her. Worst of all, she has lost all rights to her young son and daughter. Only her dearest friends, Josephine and Isabelle, themselves no strangers to hardship, remain steadfast.

With their encouragement, Clara decides to start over in the spa town of Lake Constance, where she creates a homemade cream and launches a cosmetics revolution. Against all convention, she teaches other women and herself how to face the challenges of each new day with confidence and beauty. Soon her renown brings prestige, professional accolades, even new romance. But through it all, her heart beats for her beloved children - will success finally bring the reunion she longs for?

©2015 Petra Durst-Benning & Ullstein Buchverlag GmbH. (P)2017 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved. Translation © 2017 Edwin Miles.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very enjoyable story, terrible narration

Any additional comments?

The final part of an excellent trilogy by an author who is a very popular German novelist. I patricularly enjoy that all her books I have read so far are based upon trades such as glass blowing, hair collecting, champagne production etc - a pleasant change from upstairs/downstairs and gentry/royalty type historical novels. The details of the trades are fascinating, and of course European based. The translations seem good but oh how the narrator ruins the books. I’ve read all the others as Kindle books but since I had a free trial of Kindle Unlimited I thought I’d try listening to the free audiobook version and swapped halfway through. The linkage between the two versions works well and the narration started at the top of the page I had just read. Unfortunately the narrator has a very strong American accent. The firrst few words seemed so mechanically read that I started wondering if Alexa or Siri was reading it to me. Then the dialogue started... I couldn’t believe my ears it was so bad - slow whiny spoilt brat American voices - for novels rooted very firmly in Europe. I have no objection to American accents for the narration of American novels, if anything it improves them, but this really jarred and totally ruined the beautiful German or European atmosphere of the novels. I am thankful I discovered the writer via print books first and I am going back to the print version immediately.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • krats
  • 31-03-18

Great read!

I enjoyed all three books in this series. They all kept my interest. I will watch for more by this author.

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  • Ann g
  • 04-02-18

favorite

this was my favorite of the trilogy. .good storyline and wonderful characters. .I will miss them!

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  • angry bird
  • 17-07-17

Queen of Beauty

Great story to end the adventures of three friends when it had yet become a woman's world.

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  • Donna Smith McG
  • 02-07-17

The trilogy is finally here!

I was so happy to see that the trilogy, ending with 'The Queen of Beauty', was finally published and on audible! I listened to the previous books and felt as if it was an entire year until this one came out. I was not disappointed...

The overall story could have been about 3 hours less, it had a tendency to lag also, but listening to Teri Clark Linden had me completely intrigued.
I highly recommend this last book to everyone...I also wish the story of these amazing women wasn't over. Loved it!