Beauty

A Novel

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About The Book

An “absorbing and memorable novel” (Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children) set in the world of corporate intrigue, about a woman who must choose between her dream job and everything else—her savings, her reputation, and an unexpected chance at love.

From award-winning author Frederick Dillen, an inspiring and deeply moving novel about the power of second chances

As a corporate “undertaker” for a mergers and acquisitions firm in New York, Carol MacLean travels from factory to factory, firing blue-collar workers who remind her of her father and the kids she grew up with. She hates her job. But Carol has been biding her time: her boss has promised that one day, after she has paid her dues, Carol will get to run a company instead of having to bury it.

On what is supposed to be her last assignment, Carol travels up the coast of Massachusetts to a desperate fishing town where the late lobster and day boats cluster around the inner harbor, the blue steeples of the Portuguese church stand tall on the horizon, and the last remaining fish processing plant is in its death throes. That’s when she learns that she’s about to be fired.

To save the town and herself, Carol becomes determined to rescue the factory she’s under orders to shut down. With the help of the townspeople and a roughly charming local fisherman, and by the force of her own resolve, Carol throws herself into transforming the company—but is soon faced with increasingly difficult decisions. Must she choose between the job she has always wanted and everything else?

Beauty explores the ways in which one woman will risk everything—her savings, her reputation, and even a chance at love—in pursuit of her dream.

About The Author

Frederick Dillen is an award-winning author whose short fiction has appeared in literary quarterlies and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards. His first novel, Hero, was named Best First Novel of 1994 by the Dictionary of Literary Biography. His second novel, Fool, was honored by Nancy Pearl as a Book Lust Rediscoveries selection in 2012. Dillen and his wife, Leslie, are parents of two grown daughters and live in New Mexico.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (March 4, 2014)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781476716947

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Raves and Reviews

"BEAUTY is a heart-bursting gem of a novel—a love story, a riveting tale of high stakes intrigue, and a hero's journey that spins a contemporary twist on timeless values rooted deep in the American soul. Dillen’s tightly crafted narrative is the modern working woman’s Rocky. You will root for these vivid, off-beat characters waiting to leap up from the last pages with a fist pumping cheer for their hard earned redemption."

– Carol Cassella, bestselling author of GEMINI and OXYGEN

“A feel-good story with a dash of romance.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Kudos to Dillen for his unusual premise. The workplace drama that follows is rousing.”

– Kirkus Reviews

“Dramatic and emotional…And it’s nice to have a middle-aged heroine for a change.”

– Library Journal

“An absorbing story of one smart, hardworking woman handling the ‘fat boys’ of corporate leadership on their own turf, with masterfully developed characters and, as a bonus, a poignant romance.”

– Booklist

“[Dillen is a] thoughtful writer…the setting rings true for all who face the contemporary New England issues of overfishing, government regs and catch limits in real working towns whose history is bound up with hard-working fishermen…immensely enjoyable.”

– Barnstable Patriot

The tiny seaside town is comforting in its claustrophobia, charming in its smelly fishiness. The characters…are round, colorful, and infused with emotion.”

– FefferBooks.com

The tiny seaside town is comforting in its claustrophobia, charming in its smelly fishiness. The characters…are round, colorful, and infused with emotion.”

– FefferBooks.com

"This book is a jewel that shines brighter with each turn of the page!"

– Feathered Quill Book Reviews

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