Among The Beautiful Beasts by Lori McMullen

Among The Beautiful Beasts

This earthy green cover hides some pretty impressive stuff. This cover gives nothing away. You would never guess what or who this novel is about. But I am absolutely delighted to tell you! AMONG THE BEAUTIFUL BEASTS is a novelized version of the life of Florida’s own Marjory Stoneman Douglas, before she arrived in Florida and up until she became embroiled in the dynamics of the Florida Everglades. I was ecstatic to find this novel and that it is being published June 1 from She Writes Press. I think you will be, too.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas

If you live in Florida, especially South Florida, or you vacation here, you probably already have Marjory Stoneman Douglas on your radar. She is most certainly the most famous woman in our state. There is another Marjorie to note and that would be Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. More about her in another post.

So what do we know of Douglas? We know she is most famous for writing the wildly important THE EVERGLADES RIVER OF GRASS about 75 years ago. This amazing book about our Everglades is a must-read book for every Florida history buff. In order to understand the Everglades you must have this book. In fact, I am highly suggesting you have a copy nearby while reading this novel. Trust me, you will want to reference events.

The Everglades River Of Grass

Yes, this is a novel. We begin with Marjory as a young girl. She’s just six years old when her mother yanks her away from her father and they leave him behind. We get the feeling he may have done something wrong. But Marjory’s mother is taking her to live with her grandmother. And they both live there until mom can no longer struggle with her mental state. That is when Marjory truly begins to live her own life. She makes a very poor choice in men. And then she finally leaves for Miami. And that is when I truly fell in love with this novel. The moment she stepped from the train onto Miami soil, I could almost feel the awful burden of her former life lift from her shoulders.

Marjory’s father runs the Miami Herald. He hires her on as a journalist. Then she becomes an editor. She has an affair with a rival journalist. The Miami of those days was very much the wild, wild, west of the east coast. Miami Beach was a wasteland populated only with the roughest of shelters and no electricity nor running water. Wild beach. Beautiful beach. Pristine beach. And then Marjory is introduced to the Everglades….

Marjory Stoneman Douglas lived in Florida for 83 years and passed away in 1998. She was a journalist, fiction and non-fiction writer, editor, publisher, and crusader for women’s rights, racial justice, and conservation of nature. In other words, she was a force!

There is no other novel like this. It’s great for your bookclub. Great for discussion. Just great, period. And rereading THE RIVER OF GRASS, or reading it for the first time will enhance your story.

We have copies of this amazing novel at Copperfish Books and it will go on sale Tuesday, June 1. I love that it’s in trade paper format which makes it even more enticing for clubs.

Lori McMullen

I am now reading VOICE OF THE RIVER, which is an autobiography written by Douglas. McMullen has done her research and does a fabulous job with her novel. You are going to want to read this autobiography to get even more from the novel. I am loving it.

Voice of the River

Lori McMullen grew up in unincorporated Dade County, outside Miami, so she knows the area well. This is her first novel. I look forward to her next one.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas was awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom, founded Friends of the Everglades, and named the Everglades the The River of Grass.

I was sent my copy of AMONG THE BEAUTIFUL BEASTS in exchange for an honest review. I am so taken with this novel. I believe it’s going to be an important novel for us here in Florida and I look forward to hand selling it on June 1.

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