In 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 neighbours' 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.
An amazing story of new beginnings
By L. Gondelman "Lori's Reading Corner" - July 27, 2010
I absolutely LOVED this book. There I said it. And would you like to know why? It's simple really. The characters are real, the places are real, and the emotions are real.They are true, and they are believable. They are you, they are me, and they are your mother, your father, your neighbor, your cousin, or even your teacher. They are the people that are hiding from their pasts, that are struggling with day-to-day life and the people looking towards a better tomorrow.
Stevie Barrett is not the same person she used to be. After suffering a heart attack at 32, primarily caused by her severe obesity, she knows that it's now or never to get her life on track. So she makes the life-altering decision to have gastric bypass surgery and is now 170 lbs lighter. But this doesn't really solve all of Stevie's problems. Yes, it solves the weight issue, but not what caused her to almost overeat herself to death. She has many new challenges she must now face. She is grappling with a... read more
A Fabulous, Touching Story!
By Marilyn W. - August 2, 2010
What an incredibly touching, poignant story. Lamb is so talented at bringing to life a community of characters who are distinctive and have led interesting--if sometimes very painful--lives. She paints their struggles and their relationships with compassion and, also, little delightful sparks of humor.
Stevie is a character who will stay in my heart for quite a long time. A highly recommended read and an especially good choice for book clubs!
Literary and whimsical all at the same time.
By Alayne - July 27, 2010
Stevie Barrett once weighed over 300 pounds. She ate food to smother the grief she felt over the loss of her baby sister, schizophrenic mother, and loving grandparents all within a short time period. She ate to lose herself. She ate to hide. And then she had a heart attack, and eating was no longer the solution if she wanted to survive. Several surgeries and 170 pounds later, Stevie has lost the weight but hasn't managed to find herself in the process. Such a Pretty Face is the beautiful story of one woman's search for herself amongst the burden of this thing we call Life.
At times both literary and whimsical, Such a Pretty Face fulfilled my need for a meaty, meaningful story, while also lightening my soul with love and sunshine. It made my heart ache with sadness for Stevie's childhood and the oppressing reality of schizophrenia, but the flashbacks to her earlier years are followed with laughter as she struggles to keep an outraged divorcee from tearing her ex-husband to... read more
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