Read with Sharon - September 2023

Only the Beautiful - Susan Meissner

My September book pick is Only the Beautiful by Susan Meissner. Y’all loved her writing in The Nature of Fragile Things and I just know you will enjoy this one. Susan’s style is so captivating and pulls at your heartstrings from the first page. Only the Beautiful delves into the realities of eugenic sand the heart-wrenching impact on the lives of two women it affected.

Set in the 1930’s and through WWII, Only the Beautiful is the story of a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the terrible injustice that tears them apart. Be forewarned, this book will evoke your every emotion. So have a box of Kleenex ready for an incredible ride!

Author Susan Meissner will be joining us this month for our book club discussion. We will meet on Thursday, September 28 at 7:00 pm EDT.

Until then, I hope you enjoy Only the Beautiful as much as I did.

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Only the Beautiful was an emotional read that pulled at my heartstrings and had tears running down my face in some places. The story is reminiscent of Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and The Winter Orphans by Kristen Beck.

A heartrending story about a young mother’s fight to keep her daughter, and the winds of fortune that tear them apart by the New York Times bestselling author of The Nature of Fragile Things and The Last Year of the War.

Only the Beautiful - Susan Meissner

Book Club Questions


  1. What did you think of Rosanne?
  2. What did you think of Helen?


  1. There were a few strong supporting characters. Who was your favorite?
  2. The author mixed fact with fiction. Did you learn anything you did not know?


  1. Did it work for you? What would you have changed?
  2. What do you think is the author’s message to readers of Only the Beautiful?
  3. What did you take away from the book?
  4. Are you left with any questions?


  1. Did you notice any symbolism?
  2. What foreshadowing did you notice? 


  1. Use one adjective to describe the writing itself.
  2. What would you change if you could rewrite Only the Beautiful?


  1. What did you love most about the book?
  2. Did the book change any views/opinions that you have?

Only the Beautiful - Susan Meissner