On Beauty (Courtney Novels) (MP3 CD)
What do we let define us? This complex question lies at the heart of of the Belsey family's relationship with the neighboring Kipps household. Featuring an extremely unique and diverse cast of characters, Smith explores the intersection of education, wealth, race, and more in the formation of personality. This book has stunned me every time I've read it.— Christopher
Englishman Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is a professor at Wellington, a New England college. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was. Their three children pursue their own paths: Levi quests after authentic blackness; Zora believes that intellectuals can redeem everybody; and Jerome struggles to be a believer in a family of atheists. Then Jerome, Howard's older son, falls for Victoria, the daughter of right-wing icon Monty Kipps, and the two families find themselves thrown together, provoking an honest--and honestly funny--look at people's self-deceptions.