I n this warm, funny, thoroughly candid novel, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb introduces an unforgettable heroine who’s half the woman she used to be, and about to find herself for the first time…
Two years and 170 pounds ago, Stevie Barrett was wheeled into an operating room for surgery that most likely saved her life. Since that day, a new Stevie has emerged, one who walks without wheezing, plants a garden for self-therapy, and builds and paints fantastical wooden chairs. At thirty-five, Stevie is the one thing she never thought she’d be: thin.
But for everything that’s changed, some things remain the same. Stevie’s shyness refuses to melt away. She still can’t look her neighbors’ gorgeous great-nephew in the eye. The Portland law office where she works remains utterly dysfunctional, as does her family—the aunt, uncle, and cousins who took her in when she was a child. To top it off, her once supportive best friend clearly resents her weight loss.
By far the biggest challenge in Stevie’s new life lies in figuring out how to define her new self. Collaborating with her cousins to plan her aunt and uncle’s problematic fortieth anniversary party, Stevie starts to find some surprising answers—about who she is, who she wants to be, and how the old Stevie evolved in the first place. And with each revelation, she realizes the most important part of her transformation may not be what she’s lost, but the courage and confidence she’s gathering, day by day.
As achingly honest as it is witty, Such A Pretty Face is a richly insightful novel of one woman’s search for love, family, and acceptance, of the pain we all carry—and the wonders that can happen when we let it go at last.
In Such A Pretty Face, author Lamb does not skirt around her heroine’s many problems. The book opens with a tragic memory from Stevie Barret’s childhood that would go on to define her life, and she eventually finds herself entirely alone and dangerously overweight. Her life is a restricted one in which she contantly feels secluded and lonely. After she undergoes weight-loss surgery and loses so much weight that she is literally half the woman she once was, Stevie slowly begins her own healing process. However, her path to healing is not a smooth one, and she soon finds herself facing many troubles: she runs into difficulties at the law office where she works, suffers from a crippling shyness around the opposite sex despite her new slim figure, realizes that her best friend is unsupportive, and must deal with a strained relationship with the aunt and uncle who took her in so many years ago and whose anniversary party she now must plan. Lamb writes Stevie’s story with humor and brutal honesty, and the result is an affecting portrait of one woman’s heroic journey from tragedy to her own version of happiness. –Claire Orphan
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