"Everyone is Beautiful" by Katherine Center
Published by Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
About the book:
Lanie Coates’ life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.
These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.
Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.
"Everyone is Beautiful" is a charming story with a lot of heart (plus, don't you just love the cover - it totally fits). The characters are really likeable, even when they find themselves in some awkward situations! Katherine Center's writing is very engaging and down-to-earth, making me feel like I was reading about real people and not just characters in a story. There are themes of love, relationships, family and certainly parenting that complicate and simultaneously enhance Lanie's life.
This book has a great message about respecting yourself and learning to feel beautiful, particularly for mothers who don't take any time for themselves. Once Lanie started working out and taking photography classes, she became a happier and more productive person and an even better role model and parent for her children. I absolutely loved the conclusion Lanie reaches at the end, that like the title of the book, everyone truly is beautiful.
This is a quick read and a light book, but definitely one with important lessons and more depth than your average chick-lit book. I look forward to reading Katherine's next book "Get Lucky".
About the author:
Katherine Center’s first novel, The Bright Side of Disaster, has been featured in People Magazine, USA Today, Vanity Fair, the Houston Chronicle, and theDallas Morning News, among others. BookPage named Katherine one of seven new writers to watch, and the paperback of Bright Side was a Breakout Title on special display at Target last spring. Katherine recently published an essay in Real Simple Family and has another essay forthcoming in the anthology Because I Love Her: 34 Top Women Writers on the Mother-Daughter Bond. Katherine’s second novel, Everyone Is Beautiful, will come out both in hardcover and as an audiobook in February of 2009. She has just turned in her third novel, Get Lucky, and is starting on a fourth. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband and two young children.
For more of Katherine Center, check out her wonderful guest post!
BIG THANKS to Random House for my review copy and Dorothy for organizing this great Pump Up Your Book Promotion tour!