Into the Beautiful World of Monstrous Beauty: A Photographic Tour & Giveaway

September 4, 2012 2012, author interview, elizabeth fama, giveaway, guest post, mermaids, Wendy 131

Most of our readers know that we’re huge fans of Elizabeth Fama’s Monstrous Beauty. Our reviews (which may be found here and here) could hardly contain our excitement over this gothic mermaid story that involves murder, ghosts, and tragic romance!

As the book is released in stores today, we’re very pleased to kick off the official blog tour. Since the story is based in a small seaside town whose setting is very important, we asked the author to share her photographs with us from a special trip she took to New England to research her story.

There’s also a giveaway for a beautiful finished hardcover copy at the bottom of the post, so be sure to enter if you’re in the U.S. or Canada!

We invite you to delve deeper into Syrenka’s and Hester’s world.

~ Wendy

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama

Elizabeth Fama Guest Post

I’m so excited that my first blog stop is with Wendy and K. on The Midnight Garden–a blog I adore–and especially happy that they asked me to share my photographic research on the setting of Monstrous Beauty.

I decided to set the book entirely in Plymouth, MA not only because the location is uniquely suited to the plot, but because I knew the town well: we vacationed for many years along a nearby pond when our children were small. Plymouth has the perfect combination of rich local history (back to the prehistory of native peoples), a living history museum, and a fantastic old church next to a gorgeous graveyard walking distance from the ocean. The only thing the town is missing is an ocean-side cave (and so, with my apologies to local geologists, I had to invent that). As I was writing the first draft, some newer parts of the plot grew organically from the choice of Plymouth as the setting: Peter’s dad’s whale-watch operation, for instance, and Peter’s love of marine biology because of the boat’s naturalist program.

If you’ve read an advance copy of the book, these pictures should feel familiar to you. If you haven’t read the book yet, I hope they whet your appetite.

A Photographic Tour of the Monstrous Beauty World

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

The physical church in the book is based on First Parish Church in Plymouth, which did in fact burn down in 1892. I changed the name of the church in the book because otherwise the religion would have been wrong: First Parish is Universalist Unitarian, while Hester’s congregation is of a different, unidentified Protestant faith.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Ezra first meets Syrenka on a rocky outcropping jutting from the shore. While I made up the particular outcropping in the book, that sort of breakwater is common along waterfronts. My own home of Chicago has used piled limestone boulders as breakwaters, for instance. This photo shows a baby version of a rocky outcropping, taken in Manomet, south of Plymouth.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Oh, my, how I love Burial Hill. It’s a gorgeous, historic graveyard–well worth a long stroll if you ever get to Plymouth. This particular spot is where Hester and Linnie watch boats criss-cross each other’s wakes from the hill.

This is the tomb in which Linnie hid her copy of the Bible. By the way, Stephens is an old name in Plymouth, and it makes a cameo appearance in the book and in the short story “Men Who Wish to Drown.”

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

My favorite tombstone art is the earnest, almost primitive, hand-fashioned style of the earliest headstones.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Sometimes tiny discoveries in my research land up directly in the book. Hester sees two striped snails like this little guy when Linnie parts the ivy to reveal the fifth tomb door.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Plimoth Plantation is a living history museum, where the role-players stay strictly “in period” while they’re at work. Here, Rebecca Gross plays Fear Allerton. Notice that her current chore is “airing the bedding,” as Hester does in one scene.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

This is the Howland Cottage (recreated by the museum), a one-room hut that Hester works in at Plimoth Plantation. At one end (not pictured in this shot) there’s a hearth and cooking pot, and at the other end there is in fact a bed with a makeshift wool curtain, which is the source of some of Hester’s teenage musings on the logistics of 1627 sex.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Plimoth Plantation’s dirt-road version of the street that would become Leyden Street.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Leyden Street as it appears today. There is a relatively straight walking route down Leyden Street from Burial Hill and First Parish Church to the ocean, which is a key scene (and a heartwrenching one) in the book.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Pilgrim Hall Museum. This is where Peter’s family doll is on display. That’s my adorable teenage daughter in the window on the right, giving us some sort of…gang sign?

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Inside Pilgrim Hall: the painting of Elizabeth Paddy Wensley, and the person-sized chest underneath. (Spoilers!)

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Yes, there is a genealogy room in the Plymouth Public Library, and the librarians there are lovely.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Nerd that I am, I took a lot of photos of the actual records in the genealogy room, to familiarize myself with their conventions and use of language. In this example, poor Anna Kirk died at age 26 of “phthisis,” which is interchangeable with the term “consumption,” which is the same as tuberculosis.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

This is where the Floy sisters live in the book. It’s the pond that my family vacationed on for years. (Photo by Miles Chapin)

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

The cottage that partially inspired the Floy sisters’ home. (Photo by Miles Chapin)

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Hester’s younger brother Sam eats fried clams at Squant’s Treasure, so this photo isn’t just a gratuitous food shot from a seafood lover. Well…yes it is.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

Hester’s friend Peter helps his dad run Captain Dave’s whale-watching tours. Don’t miss the opportunity to go on a whale watch if you’re ever in the Cape! You think it will be a cheesy tourist trap, and then it will turn out to be one of the most moving experiences of your life. This photo shows the back of a mother, and the white underside of her calf, glowing a glorious green because of the phosphorescent organisms in the water.

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth

These are an example of the stone steps leading to the ocean that Hester descends several times in the book. I love it that they often have ancient iron gates at the top (zoom in to see the example in this photo).

monstrous beauty elizabeth fama plymouth bug lighthouse

Ezra hauls himself onto a very old bell buoy in the ocean, but this photo of Bug Lighthouse inspired me regarding how remote it feels to be out on the water alone.


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We hope you’ve enjoyed this photographic tour of the town in which¬† Monstrous Beauty is set. Thanks so much to Elizabeth for sharing photos of this beautiful seaside location.

And don’t forget, Monstrous Beauty is in stores today! Read an excerpt from the novel here or read the free short story set in this world on Follow author Elizabeth Fama’s latest news and updates on her website and Twitter, or meet her in person on the Fierce Reads tour.

Photographs appear courtesy of the author.


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Monstrous Beauty Giveaway

Thanks to our friends at Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, we’re excited to offer our readers a chance to win a finished copy of the book!

Simply fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a blog comment for your chance to win. Open to U.S. and Canadian residents aged 13 and up.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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131 Responses to “Into the Beautiful World of Monstrous Beauty: A Photographic Tour & Giveaway”

  1. Anne Bennett

    I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all your photos. I wish i’d looked at them before I read the book. I’ve never been to Plymouth. Thank You. I really enjoyed Monstrous Beauty, too.

    Anne@My Head is Full of Books

    • Elizabeth Fama

      Anne–I truly enjoyed all my stops on the blog tour for MONSTROUS BEAUTY, but it turns out that this is the post I refer back to most often. It’s such a valuable Internet record of my photographic research, and Wendy packaged it so beautifully. I’m glad you stopped by!

  2. Deneé

    Is it weird that I was picturing the exact sceneries shown in these photos when I read it? Great post! (ok, I’m late I know, but I saw this link from your review on goodreads & just had to check it out, lol!)
    Novel Reveries

  3. vanessa cianciarelli

    I’ve never been interested in reading a book dealing with mermaids till now. After reading Wendy’s review and this blog tour, I’m excited to give Montrous Beauty a try. Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Paul Beimers

    I have yet to read a novel dealing with mermaids, but this one seems like a good place to start! I love works that are both haunting and beautiful in their atmosphere and writing. Imaginary Girls was a hugely enjoyable book for precisely that reason, and this one appears to have a similar vibe.

  5. Krispy

    What a great idea for a post! I love seeing the real life places that inspired the book. It looks so intriguing and atmospheric! Can’t wait to read this one. :)

  6. Krispy

    I love this post! I’ve already been hearing good things about this book, but having the picture tour is making me even more excited to read this. It looks so atmospheric and intriguing. And I love seeing the real life places that inspired the book!

  7. Salina Sharudin

    I read the short story on Tor a little while ago, and I have to say, I’m really excited about this book. I love the slightly darker atmosphere it gives.

  8. Samantha

    I can’t wait to read this. After all the “paranormal / supernatural” things that have come out lately I’m really excited for mermaids finally to get their share of books.

  9. Samantha

    I can’t wait to read this. After all the “paranormal” things that have come out in the past few years I’m really excited that they are finally getting to mermaids!

  10. Adrianna

    Monstrous Beauty sounds unique and very interesting :) I would love the chance to read it! I’ve never read any books about mermaids or anything with a gothic effect so this would be truly new to me.

  11. Allison

    Oh my gosh, “The Girl of Fire and Thorns” is one of my most recent favorite books! It’s so different from other girl-with-sword fantasy and yet still has the same comforting tropes. I, of course, love that the author flipped a lot of the typical qualities of Western European medieval on their heads and had the heroine be from a desert land where the people are all dark skinned. I also thought the magic was crazy unique, which is always fun to come across when you read as much fantasy as I do :)

  12. Micheline Despres

    Amazing post guys! I’m SUPER curious about this book (oddly, I’ve never read a Mermaid book despite the fact that I love mermaids) and this photo tour was beautiful.

  13. intoyourlungs

    I want to read this SO BAD!! I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy sadly, and reading this post and looking at these beautiful pictures makes me want to read it even more!! I love when authors share their inspirations, especially in picture-format. Makes it so much easier to visualize the book in my head. :D

  14. intoyourlungs

    I want to read this SO BAD!! I’ve yet to get my hands on a copy sadly, and reading this post and looking at these beautiful pictures makes me want to read it even more!! I love when authors share their inspirations, especially in picture-format. Makes it so much easier to visualize the book in my head. :D

  15. Silverlight

    Excellent post! Being from New England and not living too far from Plymouth, this book is now, a must read for me. I love NE settings, and the pics are so gorgeous. Brings back memories of our yearly trips, there. Thanks!

  16. Stephanie H.

    I’m eager to read this book because Wendy pointed me toward the novella and I thought the writing was lovely. I’m glad I caught this contest before it was over ;).

  17. Carissa St. Amand

    I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book ever since I read the excerpt. Love the visuals as well. While I like to use my imagination when I read, I like seeing the things/places that have inspired authors, it’s very fascinating.

  18. Caitlin

    This was a very interesting post. I’m not always a fan of guest posts/author interviews, but I liked the photographic tour. Really sets the tone for the book.


  19. Sabryy

    I’ve always wanted to read a book like this. It has an awesome cover and an awesome description. Really nice guest post, by the way!

  20. rabbitsfortea

    I simply adored this book that I HAVE to own it.
    It’s creepy-licious and these photos just make the book so much better. I love the church and the cemetery.

  21. Lisa

    This is a really great post. What a treat to be able to take a photographic tour of the setting of the book! I love being able to read about author research. I actually just read the excerpt on and am now even more excited to get my hands on the book.

  22. Daphne

    Amazing photos! Before reading this post I wasn’t totally sure if I was going to read this but now I just can’t resist!

  23. Elizabeth Fama

    I’ve been traveling for the book–without my laptop–and it was such a delight to come back to these comments! Thank you to all of you. The credit for the post idea goes entirely to Wendy; I’m grateful to have a place for these photos to live on the web. And here’s something you might not know: Wendy is such a perfectionist (and design wizard), she tailored each photo herself to give it the proper mood for the book. I was in amazing hands for this post!

  24. Erika

    I would love to read this! This world looks so beautiful and unique and I’ve heard wonderful things about this book! Thanks!

  25. Wendy Darling

    There have been a ton of YA mermaid books this year, haven’t there?! This one is definitely my favorite so far, although I have high hopes for BRIDES OF ROLLROCK ISLAND, too. I also liked LIES BENEATH. :)

  26. Christina Fiorelli

    Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    This is an awesome way of getting us into the book! Love the world – it seems so rich, and now it’s easier to picture everything!

    Thank you:)

  27. Book Angel

    I loved this post. The pictures were wonderful! I’ve heard awesome things about the book, too. Really excited to read it!

  28. Shana

    Love the post, love the visuals! I grew up in the Boston area and used to love-love-love going to Plimouth Plantation. So cool to have a book set there!

  29. Shana

    I loved the book, and I love this post – the visuals especially. I grew up in the Boston area and used to love going to the plantation on school trips and such. So cool to read a book set there!

  30. Anna

    I’m really excited to read this book cause I feel that mermaids are the next big thing, and after Of Poseidon (which I loved) I can’t wait to read another Fierce Reads mermaid book!

  31. Holly

    Wow, the pictures are gorgeous! I’m adding Plymouth to my traveling list. It’s always interesting to learn more about the settings and history behind a book.

  32. A Canadian Girl

    I’m terrible at visualizing settings so it’s really nice to see some of the places that inspired Fama to include them in Monstrous Beauty and have them come alive in my head. Thanks for the giveaway, Wendy.

  33. Eva Xu

    Very excited to read this particular novel. Finally, a mystery and romance novel that looks promising; been waiting for a while for something like this to come out. Great post, keep it going! (:

    • K.

      I don’t think you’ll be disappointed, Eva. The book is strikingly different from others out there. Have fun!

  34. Eva Xu

    Now this is a book that I want to read.. Finally, a mystery and romance novel that looks promising. It’s about time one of these came out into the market.

  35. Eunice

    Wow! This would totally help a lot when I start read Monstrous Beauty. Sometimes I’m having a hard time imagining a scene especially if I don’t get the whole picture of the setting. Thanks for the fantastic tour, Elizabeth and Wendy! You make me want to go there someday! :)

  36. Chrystal

    What a wonderful idea for a blog tour post. I loved learning all about the setting of the book via the pictures and details provided. I am so excited to add this book to my wishlist now! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Excited for you to read it, Chrystal! I want to shove this book in everybody’s hands, hah. :) I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post.

  37. Savannah Valdez

    Awesome post! I loved the the pictures. Their all so interesting. It’s cool to see how beautiful pictures can inspire emotions and a story :)

    • Wendy Darling

      The photographs are so great! I bet we’d all be much more inspired and creative if we were just able to travel more. You can really feel the author’s emotional connection to this place through both her writing and her photos here.

  38. Belle

    Great post! I already wanted to read this book and it will be awesome to have references for the setting. Love the photos.

    • Wendy Darling

      I look forward to seeing what you think of this one, my fellow Disney sister. ;) It’s not the dancing crab version of the mermaid tale for sure.

  39. Karen

    I loved this post. Monstrous Beauty is on my TBR pile so I’ll have to come back and read it again once I finish.

    • Wendy Darling

      Aw, yay! Glad you’re going to tackle this soon, Karen. You’ll appreciate the post even more after you’ve read the book, I think.

  40. Asheley (@BookwormAsheley)

    I adore this book so much, and Elizabeth Fama as well. This photographic tour COULD NOT BE MORE PERFECT for this book. I’m so wildly impressed! Great, great post ladies!! :) -Asheley

    • Wendy Darling

      Ohhh, I’m so happy you loved this one too, Asheley! I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is absolutely mine. I’m glad you liked the post, thanks so much for stopping by. :)

  41. Jasprit

    Thank you Wendy and Elizabeth for sharing such a beautiful photographic tour post with us! This type of tour is very different from the usual ones that crop up but I like it. It definitely gives you a better feeling of the story. I haven’t read this yet, but as you hoped it certainly did whet my appetite! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I am rather pleased with myself for this idea, Jasprit, and I’m super pleased with Elizabeth for being such a willing and gracious tour guide! I’m glad you’re interested in trying this one out.

  42. elena

    I love this post!! The pictures are wonderful and mm, the food looks good! I’m pretty you (Wendy) are the one who put this book on my radar. I can’t wait to read it, especially since I’ve been jonesing for a good mermaid book. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I can’t seem to shut up about this book, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I am the guilty party, Elena. ;) I hope you get your hands on this one soon–it’s the perfect thing to read around Halloween especially.

  43. Sam

    Great post! It’s a striking place and I’m amazed by how accurately some of those images relate to parts of the book. Plimouth Plantation and Burial Hill especially. I also love the artwork on the tombstone. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful guest post! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I know you loved this one too, Sam. :) The author wrote such a beautifully moody, atmospheric book and it’s so cool to actually see what based her story on! It’s just as I imagined, although it’s nice to have the proof, hah.

  44. Amber at The Musings of ALMYBNENR

    I’ve actually already read this book and I absolutely loved it but I am looking for a “real” version so thanks to you and the pub for the giveaway. When I was working on my review last night, I lightly researched Plimoth Plantation and Burial Hill and I was so fascinated that I really want to go visit those places NOW!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, this book is a definitely must-have for the shelf! I’m so glad you loved it, too.

      It’d be so cool to go visit Plymouth armed with this book in hand. I especially liked seeing the graveyard and the Leyden Street in these photographs, where important things obviously happened in the story.

  45. KM

    Very cool post! I love it when authors give us visuals like this. Helps to see both their inspiration and how we should envision stuff in our heads. :)

  46. Amy

    I love Plymouth. I used to go there every year when I was younger. It’s been a few years since I have last been, but it’s a great area!! Awesome post!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, that’s awesome Amy! I always love reading books or watching movies set in locations that I’m familiar with. It’s cool to have that sense of recognition when you spot something you know, particularly if it’s a non-touristy spot or an especially interesting detail.

  47. genagirl

    Seeing the photos makes me want to hop on a plane but since I can’t I really, really want to read Monstrous Beauty!

  48. genagirl

    Gah! I want to hop on a plane right now and go visit! However, since I can’t – I want to read Monstrous Beauty as soon as I can.

    • Wendy Darling

      DO IT. :) Honestly, as much as I love the idea of going to visit Plymouth, I can’t imagine I’d enjoy it as much as I enjoy this book. It’ll make my top 10 list for the year.

  49. ZaraAlexis

    Thanks for sharing such gorgeous pictures with descriptive details associated with the book. It certainly makes ME want to read it, now! I especially love the photo of the snails beneath the ivy on a gravestone. Nice detail in both photo and book! Wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Wendy Darling

      The snail photo is one of my favorites, too! Especially with her hand parting the ivy. I’m so glad we enticed you to be interested in reading the book. :)

  50. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    Loved this post! I am a Western girl and have not had the privelage of visiting all the historic sites on the East Coast. Needless to say this would be one awesome place to visit. Loved the light house picture and the clams Yum. I snickered at the teenage daughter flashing her gang signs! I have this book via NG and I need to get to it! Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, what are you waiting for, young lady?! Your e-reader is waiting. ;)

      I actually grew up on the east coast, but never spent much time in New England. Now that we’re in Los Angeles, the idea of visiting these types of places is even more appealing since they’re so different from our life here.

  51. Carl

    That photo collection is inspiration enough to want to read this book. Add to that the enthusiasm of the host and I really want to get a copy. Thanks very much.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad this post help interest you in the book, Carl! Good luck with your entry, and either way I hope you get your hands on a copy of the book soon.

    • Wendy Darling

      I know you’re looking forward to this one, Roro–let me know what you think of it when you read it! It’s such a dark and unusual story.

  52. Maji Bookshelf

    Loooooovee the picturess!! They look so spooky and awesomee! Ive been hearing good stuff about Monstrous Beauty! Great great post! I REALLY enjoyed it!
    – Farah @MajiBookshelf

    • Wendy Darling

      Ohhh, please please try to read this one soon, AH. It’s so disturbing, hah, but such a gorgeous read for the right reader. I’d love to hear what you think of it.

  53. Tammy Sparks

    This was a creative way to get readers really interested in the book. I loved her photos, and now I’m so curious to see how they relate to the story. Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Wendy Darling

      This mermaid story is totally different from any other modern novel I’ve read, dragongirl–I hope you love it as much as we did.

    • Wendy Darling

      I always like places with historical re-enactments, too. I always wonder how the actors don’t crack up, though, I’m sure I’d lose it within the first 15 minutes, hah.

    • Wendy Darling

      I would love to hear what you think of this one, Kaethe. It’s not a book for everybody, but I think it’s one you’d appreciate. Being all dark and twisted and all. ;) (The book, I mean!)

  54. Lili

    I am beyond excited for this book! the dark side of it all seems so much fun!

    Thank you for stopping by!

  55. Sarah A.

    I am super excited about this book – I have been assured repeatedly by my co-blogger that I will love it, and it also helps that Elizabeth Fama is incredibly awesome, just based on our conversations on Twitter.

    • Wendy Darling

      Your co-blogger has exellent taste. ;) Get thee to a bookstore! Let’s see if she’s right about you and this book being a good match.

      And I agree, EF is just lovely to chat with.

  56. Keertana

    WOAH! I’ve been there! It was awhile back, but it really is as beautiful as it seems! Gosh, that is really cool! I usually never know any book settings, so I’m even more excited to read this one now! :D Wonderful guest post, so thank you for sharing Wendy!

    Ivy Book Bindings

  57. Reading Rambo

    Well crap, now I want to go there.

    It seems like a lot of 18th/17th c. churches in New England have become Unitarian Universalist. By which I mean this one and the one where John Quincy Adams worshiped. So two. At least two.

    • Wendy Darling

      That’s interesting, Rambo. If there are two, there are probably more…and yes, I’d love to go here, too! Elizabeth should start doing Monstrous Beauty tours of New England, hah.

  58. Vivien

    I loved the photos!! I only just started the book but I was still able to see where some of the scenes took place. Such an interesting concept. I can’t wait to read the short story either!!

    • Wendy Darling

      I was so glad to see you’re enjoying the book, Vivien! It always makes me nervous when friends start books I really love, hah. I need to read the short story, too. :) I love that so many publishers seem to do that now, and the Tor/Macmillan ones always seem to be of particularly good quality.

    • Wendy Darling

      I don’t know if you will find much bigger fans of this book than K. and myself, Q! ;) I’m glad you loved the book, too. It’s unlike any other story I’ve read.

  59. Kelly

    I can’t believe how accurately I pictured these places! Burial Hill and the Church were spot on, as were the steps leading down to the beach (though I pictured them at a different angle). Thanks for this lovely photographic tour – it makes me want to re-read Monstrous Beauty and re-live these places all over again!

    • Wendy Darling

      How funny, I pictured the stone steps at a different angle, too! But it’s nice to see them as the author imagined them. I will definitely have to refer back to this when I reread the book as well. :) It’ll be fun to see how they compare.

  60. Meggie

    I am so so excited to read this book. I love the idea of mermaid books, but they are always so disappointing. Everything I’ve heard about Monstrous Beauty says that it’s the book I’ve been waiting for!

  61. Lark

    I admit, I didn’t expect a collection of photos to inspire me to read a book — but it has! I was particularly intrigued by the shots of the graveyard, Plimoth Plantation, and the ocean. It looks and sounds as if Ms. Fama has blended history and today in a way that really appeals to me… add in the fantasy/paranormal elements you mention, and I’m hooked. Heading off to Goodreads to add this to my TBR list, and my local library to suggest they buy it, too.

    • Wendy Darling

      The book is utterly gorgeous, Lark. The photographs help set the tone of the book in a very good way, although the setting very much does come to life merely through the author’s vivid descriptions. Please do let us know what you think of the book when you read it!

  62. Ems

    Oh wow. WOW. Those picture are absolutely gorgeous. I’ve always wanted to go to New England, but now I’m bumping it to my next trip. I’m so glad that the author shared her pictures. It really helps put a story in context. I’m even more excited to read this one now.

    • Wendy Darling

      Aren’t they beautiful? We were lucky the author took so many photos on her trip!

      I hear New England is so beautiful during the fall. I hope you enjoy both your trip and this book when you get around to them, Ems.

    • K.

      I’ve also been fascinated by New England. The history is just so rich compared to other places, I suppose.

  63. starryeyedjen

    Oh, wow…it’s exactly like I envisioned, especially the stone steps down to the beach! It feels like I’ve already been to all of these places. I absolutely loved this story, and the author is just so gracious! Great post, ladies!

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s funny, I felt as though these photographs felt so familiar too, even though I’ve never been to this area before. The author just did a great job with the descriptions in her book, I suppose. :) Thanks for stopping by, Jen!

  64. Bekka @ Pretty Deadly Reviews

    What a fantastic post! I very much enjoyed the atmospheric setting of Monstrous Beauty, and it’s awesome to be able to actually see what the author envisioned. I would love one day to be able to visit the area.

    • Wendy Darling

      Same here, Bekka! It’s so rare that you get such a detailed photographic glimpse into a book’s setting. It’d be amazing to see all this in person.

    • K.

      I know. It’s great to see actual evidence of what served as inspiration to a novel. And I am just eye-ing that church and cemetery… :/