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The Inheritance of Beauty by Nicole Seitz is an enchanting tale of true love, growing loss, forgiveness and memories of long ago. Memories which stem from four childhood friends, two of whom are siblings, whose lives were forever changed by one man in the lowcountry of South Carolina.

Ash and Magnolia Black, brother and sister grew up in the lush countrylands of 1929 Levy, South Carolina with their friend George Jacobs. Soon after, they were briefly joined by childhood genius Joe Stackhouse, a young boy not originally from Levy but whose short stay with his “magician father” turned the small but quaint town into a show of horrors for the four children.

The story is told from the different point of views of the main characters. It is now eighty years later and they now reside in Harmony House, an assisted living facility. The reader is then taken on a journey back to a fateful day in 1929 Levy, SC. Magnolia, lovingly known as Maggie, has since married her childhood sweetheart George. They are later reunited with their long lost and brilliant friend, Joe. But the golden years have not been kind to either Maggie or Joe as they both suffer from the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s.

The heartbreaking journey back to 1929 Levy starts with a life sized portrait of Maggie being mysteriously delivered to Harmony House followed by a host of letters written by someone who knew them long, long ago. George reluctantly embraces the fact that the time has come for him to accept the reality of what happened that awful day. Unable to make peace, he increasingly becomes anxious and uneasy as he continues to read the letters and decides that a trip back to where it all started eighty years ago, is long overdue. And he takes Maggie and Joe back with him.

The Inheritance of Beauty simply deserves nothing less than five stars from this reviewer. Reading about what happened from the point of views of so many characters if not done right, can become quite confusing, but Mrs. Seitz was able to do this seamlessly. It was a true delight to read the pages of this book that also offered deep insights into what may be going through the mind of an Alzheimer’s patient as they endure the slow emptying of a lifetime of memories. The love that George shows for his wife as they both suffer various physical and mental ailments comes through the pages and straight to your heart.

Highly recommended. This is a book you do not want to miss.

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