"Alison McGhee's is a novel of simple explanations, simple movement, and Faulkner's favorite, most ferocious question: Can we ever really know one another?"Los Angeles Times "McGhee has written a lovely and successful third novel. She brilliantly captures the close but guarded ties between residents of a grieving small town, and delivers dialogue with the uncommon and impressive mix of precision, poignancy, and believability." Minneapolis Star Tribune "McGhee is a beautiful writer, especially in her sense of place and her precision in describing characters." Twin Cities Pioneer Press "McGhee, author of the critically acclaimed novel Shadow Baby, portrays in spare and beautiful prose a setting and community that recall the cold, hard landscapes of Richard Russo's fiction." Book Page Was It Beautiful?is a powerful and tender portrayal of loss and renewal at midlife. With singular grace and humor, Alison McGhee pays loving attention to the details of life in the Adirondacks and to the small kindnesses and idiosyncrasies that make each member of a community precious and unique.