By: Frederick Dillen
Illustrated By: Christopher Lin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publication Date: March 2014
Reviewed By: Kristi Benedict
Review Date: April 9, 2014
The corporate world is ruled for the most part by men but Carol MacLean was convinced that if she worked hard enough for long enough she would be given her own company to run. In fact that is exactly what she had been promised by her boss for many years now and finally after this last job of closing down a fish plant in New England, she would be given her own company. Carol had come from the working class and the idea of being able to build up a business instead of burying it was a thrilling thought. However, when Carol is just beginning to believe that her dream will be coming true her boss informs her that she will be fired with no hope of ever getting her own company. Completely crushed by this news Carol breaks down, realizing that all her years of hard work have been for nothing.
Picking herself back up, Carol makes a drastic choice and decides to buy the plant that she was sent to put out of business. Throwing everything she has into this project, Carol quickly surrounds herself with people of the community that want to keep the traditions and way of life for the harbor alive. The team she assembles includes local families, finance experts, blue-collar workers, and local fisherman who are not sure if this plan will work but are willing to do whatever they can to give it a shot. One fisherman in particular, Easy Parsons, is catching Carolís eye but she does not want her feelings to overshadow the business decisions she is going to make.
With each passing day Carol continues to wow her team by finding ways to bring this fish processing plant back to life and bring revenue into the harbor. For the first time in a long time Carol finally feels as if she belongs and wants to make a life that she can be proud of. Unfortunately with the risks involved in owning a business Carol is soon faced with heart wrenching decisions that will have her seriously thinking about the worth of owning her own company.
Frederick Dillen brings to life a character in Beauty who was hard for me to first imagine because Carol is far from the norm. After the first few pages, however, I realized that what he created was quite amazing and wonderfully original. From the first chapter I found myself instantly becoming caught up in the story as Carol puts so much honest work into her job and then transfers that hard work into saving a fish processing plant that she was sent to shut down. Through his writing Dillen combines the business world with an entertaining underdog story that also contains a touch of romance and does it beautifully. There is fun and excitement about the twists, turns, and ideas from the business side, and then at the same time the heartstrings are pulled by the story of how a woman comes to fall in love not only with a hard working fisherman but the people of the town as well.
Quill says: This book is a jewel that shines brighter with each turn of the page!