Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Such A Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb

Such A Pretty FaceTitle: Such A Pretty Face
Author: Cathy Lamb
Published: August 2010 by Kensington
ISBN: 9780758229557
Source: Library

Description: 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. 

I Give This ...

I don't know how a book can be heartwarming, funny, and cringe worthy all at the same time.  But, yet Such A Pretty Face managed it without losing any of the elements of the story.  In fact, the description doesn't even paint an accurate picture of what this story truly entails.

I completely loved Stevie from the first pages of this novel.  It's absolutely amazing that she's able to stand up on her own two feet after what she has endured at the hand's of her schizophrenic mother during childhood.  And then after the horrific circumstances surrounding her mother's death, she placed into the hands of an uncle who treats her no better than the rest of his family.  She's belittled and constantly told she isn't good enough even into her adulthood.  But, she finds herself after her life altering surgery.  She discovers she is good enough and deserves more than she has been given in life.

It sounds like a heartbreaking story, but really it isn't.  Because Stevie has some awesome friends (and one that isn't).  Her cousins know just how hard it is because they're living in the same shadows she is.  Her friends from work help her realize her potential and that she can do anything she wants too.  She's even got a love interest who wins your heart as well.  Granted the first part of the book, Stevie hides behind bushes, etc whenever Jake appears.  It's makes for some definite laugh out loud moments.

In the end Stevie is able to stand up to her uncle, comes to terms with her past, and open up to Jake.  The entire novel was a pleasure to read.  I'll be looking for something else by Cathy Lamb because this one was outstanding!


  1. I thought this was a debut. I have it on my Wishlist.

    I love emotional books so I look forward to reading it and I like that it has some humour in it also.

    Great review.

  2. It was really great. Made me feel a wide range of emotions. And Cathy Lamb has a few books out (first in 2007). I will be reading more from her!


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