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Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner

Meissner takes readers on a journey through time, exploring themes of love, loss, and the indomitable human spirit.
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In Only the Beautiful, author Susan Meissner weaves a heart-wrenching tale of a young girl named Rosanne who loses everything she holds dear but never loses the will to fight for what she loves.

With her masterful storytelling and vividly descriptive prose, Meissner takes readers on a journey through time, exploring themes of love, loss, and the indomitable human spirit.

Set against the backdrop of pre-war California, the story follows the life of sixteen-year-old Rosanne, who tragically loses her parents in an accident and is taken in by the Calvert family. Coupled with the grief and weight of her long-kept secret, Rosanne falls into a spiral of events with dire consequences.

Now banished from the Calvert household due to her pregnancy, Rosanne believes she is destined for a home for unwed mothers but finds herself in a far worse situation than she could have ever imagined.

Fast forward to 1947, and the story shifts to Helen Calvert, Truman’s sister, who has returned to America after witnessing firsthand Adolf Hitler’s pursuit of genetic purity in Austria. When she arrives at her brother’s vineyard, she discovers the shocking truth about Rosanne and sets out to find her, leading to a journey filled with heartache, courage, and determination.

Meissner masterfully weaves together the past and the present, revealing the devastating impact of the war and the struggles faced by those trying to rebuild their lives. With her impeccable research and attention to detail, she brings to life the vivid landscapes and complex characters, leaving readers spellbound until the very end.

Only the Beautiful is a poignant and moving story that will stay with readers long after they turn the final page. It’s a testament to the human spirit, showing the power of love, hope, and resilience even in the darkest of times. This is a must-read for fans of historical fiction and those who enjoy stories that touch the heart and soul.

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