Title: Everyone is Beautiful
Author: Katherine Center
Review Copy Provided by: Pump Up Your Book Promotion
About the Book: Lanie Coates’s 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.
My Review: Dorothy asked me to take on this book at the last minute, and boy, am I so glad that I agreed! It's been quite awhile since I've picked up an adult fiction novel that I couldn't put down. This was one of those reads. I fell into this story, fell in love with Lanie and her family, and continuously rooted for her until the very end of the book. Katherine Center has written a "real" story. By "real," I mean Lanie could be the stay at home mom down the street. What woman that got married and had kids, hasn't had regrets, dreams that they put on hold, wished their life had been different somehow, etc.? Lanie's story is just that. It's about what really happens in a marriage, the emotions that are out there, and the way women feel but are sometimes so afraid to talk about. I admire Lanie's character. She had what she loved, a husband who took care of her and three beautiful children, but she wasn't happy with herself and what she had become. She loved the men in her life, but she didn't love herself, not completely. Why do I admire her then? She did what she had to do, put herself last, to put her family first. That's the way I was raised and the way I thought it was supposed to be. Lanie learned differently and I have too. Yes, she needs to put her family first, but she learns that she can do things for herself, to better herself and make herself happy, without sacrificing her family. Doing for Lanie, makes Lanie a better person and in the end, makes her family stronger. I kept thinking that Peter was going to have an affair and hurt Lanie, because most novels I read turn out that way. Boy, was I wrong; thank goodness. Nothing was as I expected, and that's what kept me so intriguied by this book. Center has, in my opinion, a bestseller on her hands.
I was so moved by this novel that I immediately emailed the author just gushing with praise for this book. She actually lives not too far from me and is doing a book reading in town that I am anxious to attend. She emailed me back the next day, with these words, "Thank you so much for your kind note--and for taking the time to write it. It is always great to get good feedback! " I emailed back and asked if she would want to give one of my readers the opportunity to win her book. Well, Jayne at Ballentine Books contacted me today with the news that yes, we could definitely do the giveaway. So, there you have it. One of you will win a copy of Katherine Center's Everyone is Beautiful. All you have to do is comment here about one thing you find beautiful about yourself. Be sure to leave your email address if you are not a blogger.
This contest is open to US and Canadian addresses. Please no PO boxes as the book will be coming from the publisher. You can earn extra entries by doing any of the following:
- Follow this blog in Blogger, in a reader, or through RSS feed - 1 extra entry
- Follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway - 2 extra entries
- Blog about this and link back to my site - 3 extra entries
You could possibly earn 7 entries. Make sure you leave a separate comment for each entry you do. I am running this giveaway in conjuction with the Book Giveaway Carnival, so you have until Mar. 8th to enter. A winner will be drawn randomly on Mar. 9th, emailed and posted on this blog.