Beauty is a finely spun retelling of Beauty and the Beast, set in the early middle ages. Written as a novel which is narrated by the young girl herself, it unfolds her story of growing up like a bud unfolding to a full-blown rose. She is lively, stubborn and angular, until, falling slowly in love with the Beast, his courage and gentle dignity soften her. Learning that his noble patience hides suffering, she begins to look around her with deeper perception. Her instinctive caring widens to embrace his world, as well as her familiar one. Suffering the agony of their apparent incompatibility, she tries to bridge them. At first, she nearly loses both, but the effort of her loving is reflected back in a growing luminous richness in the Beast’s forest and castle, and in encouraging voices Beauty hears. The Beast learns to love her family and she finds herself at first helpless with sympathetic love for him, and later, holding all her loves together in the presence of a greater love which heals and unites them. This book explores the richness of a truly wonderful traditional tale with great psychological realism, and will be a rewarding, pleasurable read for 11+ youngsters.