Beauty: The Invisible Embrace (Book Review with Quotes)

Beauty: The Invisible Embrace (Book Review with Quotes)

Invisible Embrace of Beauty book review, John O'Donohue quotes

Here are some of the nuggets I marked to share with you from this book:

  • “Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Rumi
  • Beauty is a quickener!
  • “In turning away from beauty, we turn away from all that is wholesome and true.”
  • “It has become a habit to mistake glamour for beauty. Glamour has a single flicker. In contrast, the Beautiful offers us an invitation to order, coherence, and unity. When these needs are met, the soul feels at home in the world.”
  • “The time is now ripe for beauty to surprise and liberate us. Beauty is a free spirit and will not be trapped within the grid of intentionality.”
  • “Beauty is the highest level of understanding and the most comprehensive capacity for effective action. It enables us to go with, rather than against, the deepest tendency or theme of the universe.” Frederick Turner
  • “The wonder of the Beautiful is its ability to surprise us. With swift, shear grace, it is like a divine breath that blows the heart open. Immune to our strategies, it can take us when we least expect it.”
  • “Beauty is not just a call to growth, it is a transforming presence wherein we unfold towards growth almost before we realize it. Our deepest self-knowledge unfolds as we are embraced by beauty.”
  • “The force of invisible beauty infuses the visible object.”
  • “Part of what it means to be, is to be beautiful. Beauty is not superadded to things: it is one of the springs of their reality. It is not that which effects a luscious response in perceivers, it is the interior geometry of things, making them perceptible as forms.” Francesca Aran Murphy
  • “If religion could put the beauty of God at its heart what refreshment and encouragement it would give and what creativity it would awaken.”
  • “The power of good has taken refuge in the nature of the Beautiful.” Plato
  • To recognize and celebrate beauty is to recognize the ultimate sacredness of experience, to glimpse the subtle embrace of belonging where we are wed to the divine, the beauty of every moment, of everything.”
  • “The soul dwells where beauty lives.”

This book is a slow meditation on beauty. Written by a poet, it is almost too rich, which is a lesson to me as a poet who also writes prose. To me, the incredible beauty here of what was expressed got bogged down in way too many words.

I now know that the people who loved and recommended this book listened to it; apparently the author’s Irish brogue is mesmerizing. The paperback copy, however, was unfortunately a wade-through. Because of this, I can only give this book three stars, although those who listen to it on audio give it five. If you are interested in a thorough treatise on beauty, here one is, but listen to it instead of read it.

I liked thinking of the connection between true inner beauty and the divine; in this read they start to seem synonymous. This, and the quotes above to ponder, were my take-aways.

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Susan 1 year ago

    I read it to my husband nice and slow over several weeks.
    I recommended it to you.
    We gave it five stars.

  2. Brian G 1 year ago

    Your review inspired me to think:
    “Beauty Herself unfolds the flowers unseen”

  3. Sue+Krevitt 1 year ago

    Yes, do LISTEN to this beauty!

    (I enjoy my subscription to

    Another helpful Review, Polly. Thanks.


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