Book Review: "Age Before Beauty" by Virginia Smith

Baby Vs Work: The Great Debate

Desperate to stay home with her baby, Allie Harrod launches a new career. Sure, she dropped out of Girl Scouts because she was lousy at cookie sales, but makeup is different, right? She'll do anything to make enough money to cover her share of the household bills, but how can she focus on her business when her list of problems is growing? None of her pre-baby clothes fit, her checking account is dwindling, and her mother-in-law has decided to move in! To top it off, her husband's attractive coworker suddenly needs his help every weekend. Middle sister Joan insists that God has the answers to all her problems, but Allie isn't so sure. Can she really trust him?

As with the first book in this series, I totally "got" these books. Being part of a three daughter family, I felt like this story was pretty much my life. You haven't lived until you've experienced three girls trying to share a bathroom, tying up the phone line or shouting over one another trying to get heard (my poor dad!). Plus since I am the oldest, I've been especially waiting for Allie's story. I enjoyed reading about her journey of being a new mom and wanting to work at the same time. I don't know if I would have gone the same route that she did, but it was fun seeing what goes on in the background during direct sale parties. I was afraid at first that this book would be another wife vs mother in law with no help from husband situation. Those scenarios always annoy me because the wife always ends up losing. Also seeing as how I am to be married soon, I hope to never find myself in that situation! Luckily this does not turn out to be the case. Allie and her mother in law do have a few tiffs but it's not the cliched battle that I was worried about.

There were times throughout the book that I just wanted to smack Eric on th
e head. I understand that he was getting frustrated with Allie's new schedule and that he was trying to be helpful to his coworker. But seriously, didn't he realize that a married man alone in a house with a single woman is not a good idea? I know guys can be dense sometimes but Eric needed to rethink his priorities. I loved the climax scene because it was so unexpected, dramatic, funny and "mooooving" at the same time.

As also, I enjoyed the interaction between Allie and her sisters. They are totally realistic and act like sisters really do. It's nice to see sisters who are great friends but still argue and get ticked off at each other. It's like my family, lol. All in all, I enjoyed the book very much. I found it rather refreshing that the main characters are not church goers throughout most of the book. Even though they get several invites throughout, no one forces them to go and they aren't shunned by people. While this is a Christian book, it's not preachy so many people would be able to relate to Allie an
d Eric. This would be a great book to pass on to a new mom who's trying to struggle between staying at home with the baby and trying to get back into the work field. This is another wonderful book from Virginia Smith (she's on a roll!) and I can't wait for Tori's book to come out next year!

Age Before Beauty by Virginia Smith is published by Revell (2009)

Virginia Smith left her job as a corporate director to become a full time writer and speaker with the release of her first novel Just As I Am. Since then she has contracted ten novels and published numerous articles and short stories. She writes contemporary humorous novels for the Christian market, including Murder by Mushroom, Stuck in the Middle, and her newest releases, A Taste of Murder and Age before Beauty.

In March of 2008 she was named "Writer of the Year" at Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. An energetic speaker, Virginia loves to exemplify God's truth by comparing real-life situations to well-known works of fiction, such as her popular talk, "Biblical Truths in Star Trek." Visit Ginny online at


  1. Anonymous8:15 AM

    Great review! I have one sister, but she was quiet and let me steal the spotlight. She had a bathroom to herself and I shared on with my parents, though.


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