We Could Be Beautiful (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

Not only is We Could Be Beautiful the best beach read of 2016, it is an intelligent and skillful examination of privilege, greed, family and love. 42 year old Catherine West is a privileged NewYorker who has it all--except for a husband and child. Catherine wonders whether she will ever find Mr. Right, until a stunning man approaches her at a gala for contemporary folk art. Two weeks later William Stockton moves into Catherine's Upper East Side home. When William proposes, Catherine is thrilled, but by then she has started to sense that things may not be as they seem. Why does her mother (who has Alzheimer's) react so badly to William's name? Why is William so secretive about his past. You will not be able to put this psychological thriller down until you reluctantly reach the very last page.

— From Staff Reviews


A spellbinding psychological debut novel, Swan Huntley's We Could Be Beautiful is the story of a wealthy woman who has everything--and yet can trust no one.

Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things. She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home. And yet, despite all this, she still feels empty. She sees her personal trainer, she gets weekly massages, and occasionally she visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she'll never have a family of her own. One night, at an art opening, Catherine meets William Stockton, a handsome man who shares her impeccable taste and love of beauty. He is educated, elegant, and even has a personal connection--his parents and Catherine's parents were friends years ago. But as he and Catherine grow closer, she begins to encounter strange signs, and her mother, Elizabeth (now suffering from Alzheimer's), seems to have only bad memories of William as a boy. In Elizabeth's old diary she finds an unnerving letter from a former nanny that cryptically reads: "We cannot trust anyone . . . " Is William lying about his past? And if so, is Catherine willing to sacrifice their beautiful life in order to find the truth? Featuring a fascinating heroine who longs for answers but is blinded by her own privilege, We Could Be Beautiful is a glittering, seductive, utterly surprising story of love, money, greed, and family.

About the Author

SWAN HUNTLEY earned her MFA from Columbia University. She's received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Ragdale Foundation. She lives in California and Hawaii.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780385540599
ISBN-10: 0385540590
Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016
Pages: 352
Language: English