Becoming Belle

Becoming Belle

A witty and inherently feminist novel about passion and marriage, based on a true story of an unstoppable woman ahead of her time in Victorian London. In 1887, Isabel Bilton is the eldest of three daughters of a middle-class military family, growing up in a small garrison town. By 1891 she is the Countess of Clancarty, dubbed ?the peasant countess? by the press, and a membe A witty and inherently feminist novel about passion and marriage, based on a true story of an unstoppable woman a...

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Title:Becoming Belle
Author:Nuala O'Connor
Rating:
Genres:Historical
ISBN:0735214409
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:371 pages pages

Becoming Belle Reviews

  • The Library Lady
    Jul 25, 2018
    This is described as "witty and inherently feminist" and that's a laughable description, especially in terms of "witty." Was the copy writer reading some other book, and just cut and pasted that in? The story may be based on a real person, but if she really was as portrayed here, sh...
  • Teresa
    Nov 03, 2018
    I picked up this book because I thought it was going to be about Belle becoming Countess Clancarty and how she coped with life on an Irish estate. However, it's set in England and was about her life before she became the Countess. She doesn't arrive in Ireland until the last chapter an...
  • Carol Palmer
    Aug 14, 2018
    Isabel Bilton moves from a country garrison town to London to make it on the stage. She is half of the Bilton Sister with her sister Florence and become star performers. Isabel (now Belle) meets William, the Viscount of Dunlo, and the two fall passionately in love. The pair secretly ma...
  • Viviane Crystal
    Aug 07, 2018
    Isabel Belton is the daughter of a military family, living in a small Hampshire garrison town. Her father adores her, and her mother abuses her. It?s 1887 and women?s roles are set in stone but that doesn?t stop Isabel. At the age of 19, off she goes to London, dreaming of becomi...
  • Kathleen Kelly
    Aug 24, 2018
    Becoming Belle is the story of Isabel Bilton, she changed her name to Belle for her career, who became a dancer/actress on the London stage. She performs with her sister Flo and they take London by storm. They frequent the clubs and that is where Belle meets William, Viscount Dunlo. T...
  • Lauren
    Apr 16, 2019
    How is this book feminist? Based on a real woman, Becoming Belle is a mediocre romance headlined by a passive, spoiled protagonist. Belle has the potential to be an interesting character, but as written, she?s inconsistent (as worldly or nave as the story requires of her on any...
  • Heather Brinkerhoff Burdsal
    Jun 26, 2018
    Thank goodness I got this for free. The grammar is so atrocious I couldn't get past the first two pages. Apparently the author offended commas, because they all left this manuscript. I followed suit. ...
  • Krista
    Jun 24, 2018
    The way you said bella, it's made me think to change my name. I will be Isabel Bilton no more. 'Belle' seems a better one for me. Belle Bilton. Belle! What do you think? Miss Isabel ?Belle? Maude Penrice Bilton certainly seems to have led an interesting life ? and author Nuala...
  • ♥ Sandi ❣
    Aug 06, 2018
    3 stars Thank you to Penguin's First to Read and G.P. Putnam and Sons for allowing me to read and review this digital ARC. Publishes August 7, 2018. Set in London in the late 1800's we meet Isobel "Belle" Bilton and her family. As naive as Belle is, she seems to understand early th...
  • Kim McGee
    Jun 20, 2018
    Isabel Bilton knew from a young age that she wanted to leave her parents and her two sisters in their small town and run away to London where she would dance and become famous. It was the late 1800's and most sensible girls had only marriage and family on their mind but not Isabel. One...
  • Graili
    Dec 31, 2018
    While I enjoyed the feminist themes, but this book was both overwritten and underdeveloped. This was a fault of both the editor and the writer. For example, at the beginning, there was a paragraph describing Belle's father convincing her to take the stage and replace her mother, and th...
  • BAM The Bibliomaniac
    Jul 29, 2018
    Netgalley #65 Many thanks go to Nuala O'Connor, GP Putnam, and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review. Why do so many young ladies in novels dream of being dancers and going on stage? If this weren't based on a true story, I'd have said,"not again." But it is, so...
  • Linda Zagon
    Jul 29, 2018
    My Review of ?Becoming Belle? by Nuala O?Connor. G.P.Putnam?s Sons August 2018 Nuala O?Connor, Author of ?Becoming Belle? has written an enthralling and captivating novel about ambition, love, passion and making dreams come true. The Genres of this story are Historical...
  • Bethany Swafford
    Jun 09, 2018
    Nineteen-year-old Isabel Bilton uses her talents and charm to take London by storm in the late 1880s. Her innocence is left in the dust as she goes on to become Countess of Clancarty. I did not like Belle in this novel. From what I've read, Belle Bilton was a woman who was charm and...
  • Annette
    Jun 11, 2018
    The story progresses fast. The chapters are short, making it a quick read. However, I didn?t feel any connection with the main character. ...
  • Maggie BB
    Mar 23, 2018
    I received a free eARC from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Based on real people, Becoming Belle is a fascinating tale of an independent woman finding her way in London at a time when being an independent woman was not always considered a particularly respectable way to...
  • Carmina Valdizán
    Sep 05, 2018
    Belle, Isabel Bilton was an actress in the late 19th century. Acting, was a profession that wasn't viewed with good eyes by Victorian society, but actresses did enjoy certain freedoms that other women of the era did not have. In fact, some believe these freedoms are equivalent to those...
  • N.N. Light
    Aug 08, 2018
    In the late 1800?s, feminism is unheard-of and a woman rising from middle-class to aristocracy is looked down upon. Did that stop Isabel Bilton? Think again. Isabel leaves her parents? home for London and doesn?t look back. She changes her name to Belle and is determined t...
  • Karen Parisot
    Aug 07, 2018
    Isabel has longed to be a performer her whole life. Finally, with her father?s blessing, Isabel ?Belle? Bilton journeys to London hoping to make her dream come true. Based on real people, all of the characters in the story actually did exist in the late nineteenth century. Even...
  • Jeannine
    May 30, 2018
    This is based on the true story of Isabel Bilton who began her life as the oldest daughter in a military family, entered a life in the theater and eventually moved up (considerably) in the world. The promotional material presents Isabel as a woman ahead of her time, but I don't see it....
  • Joanne Balharrie
    Aug 26, 2018
    DISCLAIMER: I received this book from NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. ?Becoming Belle? is based on the life of a real woman, the actress turned Countess Belle Bilton. Following her life from a teenage girl in her family home in Hampshire through...
  • Melissa Dee
    Aug 11, 2018
    I?m a devotee of historical fiction, and I expected to enjoy ?Becoming Belle?. I was disappointed in several ways. I never connected with the character, in fact, I admired Belle?s sister Flo far more than Belle. The historical background was understated and at times confusing. ...
  • Helen Carolan
    Dec 26, 2018
    Oh dear me. A couple of hours of my life I'll never get back. This read like a vert bad soap opera. Belle dreams of a life on the stage. So at the age of 20 she leaves rural Hampshire for London. Soon she becomes the talk of the town and bags a rich aristocrat and marries him. While so...
  • Beverly
    Jun 25, 2018
    I was very excited to have received this book in a giveaway as a book preview! The late 1800's and early 1900's was a time of great change as the lines between the classes in British common wealth and around the world became blurred. I found the story of Isabel Bilton's rise from t...
  • Irene O'Hare
    Jul 20, 2018
    I got this book for free through Penguin's First to Read program. I liked it overall. O'Connor's simple prose was easy to follow and let the characters and the plot shine. I did find that it dragged in places but that could be because I found Belle a bit tiresome at points, wishing she...
  • Mellie Antoinette
    May 20, 2018
    The design of this book is impeccable. I?m very excited to see and hold this one in print. It positively glimmers with the splendorous glints of Gilded Age grandeur mirroring its Belle poque setting. ?Oh, Isabel is not for literary pursuits. She prefers to live her story.? ...
  • Heather-Amie
    Sep 10, 2018
    Check out my full review here/a> Becoming Belle is a wonderful story of love, strength, and ambition. The main character, Isabel, moves to London and changes her name to Belle to take the city by storm. She performs with her sister and quickly falls in love with William, a young ...
  • Emilio
    Oct 31, 2018
    As a thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced readers copy. I shall give an honest review of this novel. Based on a true story, Becoming Belle was exactly the novel I needed during Victober as it not only was set in the Victorian era , but told the e...
  • J.L. Slipak
    Nov 16, 2018
    A witty and inherently feminist novel about passion and marriage, based on a true story of an unstoppable woman ahead of her time in Victorian London. In 1887, Isabel Bilton is the eldest of three daughters of a middle-class military family, growing up in a small garrison town. By 1...
  • Suziey
    Jun 30, 2018
    * I received an e-ARC from First to Read in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. * I didn't particularly like this book. The writing was at times over the top and cringe-inducing. The chapters are relatively short making for a fast-paced novel, which was appreciat...