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God Don't Like Ugly Paperback – October 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; Reprint edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575666073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575666075
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,775 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Annette Goode, born in the racist South of the 1950s, is the heroine of Monroe's strong second novel (after The Upper Room), a coming-of-age journey depicted with wit, poignancy and bite. Up until 1963, when 13-year-old, overweight Annette Goode meets beautiful Rhoda Nelson, only daughter of the Richland, Ohio, town undertaker, Annette's life has been a nightmare. After Annette's father left her mother (Muh'Dear) for a white woman, Muh'Dear has scraped by as a domestic, stealing leftover food from her employers' kitchens; Annette overeats to compensate for her father's abandonment. Annette is only seven when she asks their boarder, Mr. Boatwright, to be her daddy. Soon after, he begins raping her. Annette, who considers herself fat and ugly, endures silently, thinking no one will believe her. She suffers the attacks for years until Rhoda befriends her and decides the man must be stopped. Monroe's characters are well drawn, full-bodied and not all bad. Monroe paints sympathetic portraits of Judge Lawson, the honorable white man Muh'Dear works for; Mr. Nelson, the undertaker; Scary Mary, who runs a brothel but has a good heart; and Pee Wee, Annette's young gay friend. However, it is the convincingly depicted friendship between Annette and Rhoda that drives the narrative and gives Annette the courage to end her abuse. In using a young girl's innocent voice to narrate, Monroe recounts a tale of extreme hardship with a hopeful, uplifting tone. Some readers will find the characters more enjoyable than the plot, which occasionally lapses into predictable melodrama, but readers of contemporary African-American literature will discover a highly satisfying page turnerDand one that will stand out on bookstore shelves with its bold, purple-hued cover. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

From the way she told the story, to the method she used to develop the main characters.
Mikeisha Best
I really think that this is a book that should be read in colleges, it is brilliant, entertaining, and I know I will be re-reading it again and again.
Entertaining and a page turner until the very end, God Don't Like Ugly is a definate read for all who would enjoy a good book!
Janeth C. Walker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By T. Price on June 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
God Don't Like Ugly is a statement that we have all used at one time or another. And while reading this wonderful book by Mary Monroe I caught myself saying it over and over again while waiting to see when the Ugly is going to get its just do. This is the story about a very insecure girl name Annette, who was molested by Mr. Boatwright, the person her mother brought into their home to help out with her and other household activities. Annette had no one to turn to not even her mother, that is until she became friends with Rhonda, the pretty girl across the street. She eventually confide in Rhonda about the molestation and things evolved from there. You'll have to read God Don't Like Ugly to find out what.
Everyone that wonders what goes through the minds of people who are molested because the first thing that pops into your head when you hear about it is "What were they thinking, why didn't they tell anyone?" Well you'll find out if you read this book. Ms. Monroe takes you through the mind of Annette and some of the other characters as well. I look forward to seeing what else happens with these characters in the sequel.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By busylady on January 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
Mary Monroe is a master storyteller. God Don't Like Ugly has so many sub-plots and characters that it is a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing story. The basic plot revolves around a young girl, Annette who is being sexually abused by the live-in border Mr. Boatwright. Sexual abuse is a horrific crime no matter how you look at it but Mary Monroe captures the dichotomy of the relationship between Annette and Mr. Boatwright in a manner which few could. It would have been easy to paint Boatwright as an evil, old peg leg with no redeeming value but in reality life is not that black and white. Instead she shows how he cooks for the family, takes Annette to the market with him, to the movies and goes with the family to church and at times is kind to her, and then at night destroys it all by making Annette his victim.
But that is only part of the story. We have Rhoda Nelson, the beautiful, intelligent daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Nelson, the biracial Undertaker and his beautiful but fragile wife. Mr. Nelson's mother who is white lives with the family as does his half brother, Uncle Johnny. The Nelson's while they appear the very picture of a upwardly mobile black family with their big beautiful house, extravagant furnishings and fine cars have more than a few problems of their own.
You'll become enraptured in Annette and Rhoda's lives because they certainly have stories to tell, but save a little of yourself because there are a few others in this small circle of residents in the more affluent part of town who have stories they would like to tell you. Now Scary Mary, the local Madam has a few things she would like to share with you about herself and her 2 daughters and maybe even a little about the girls who "work" for her.
Read more ›
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Overall, I absolutely loved the novel God Don't Like Ugly by Mary Monroe! I think this book was funny because the characters loved to gossip and talk about people. This book was also poignant and enjoyable because it left an indelible mark on me that changed my view of the past. Annette Goode, the main character and narrator is a shy, overweight girl who is troubled because she is sexually abused daily by Mr. Boatwright, a boarder from her church who her mother has taken in. Trying to find friends, Annette finally gives up all hope until one summer, when she turns thirteen. She meets Rhoda Nelson, a rich, powerful, beautiful, slim, green-eyed, light skinned, black girl. Soon after they become the best of friends and Annette reveals her shocking secret about Mr. Boatwright. As Rhoda tries to help Annette survive her teen-age years, Annette begins to find out a revelation of things she never knew about her best friend. People should definitely find this book interesting. I would definitely recommend this book for teens, young adults, adults, and seniors, especially those who like books by Mary Monroe or fictional books about the 1950's or 1960's. This book made me laugh, cry, and actually feel what the characters were feeling. The way Mary Monroe describes her characters is fascinating and completely fantastic. The settings which took place in Miami, Florida , Richland, Ohio , and Erie, Pennsylvania during the early 1950's through the late 1960's were absolutely perfect for the plot and the different chapters. Also, the story itself could be related to any time or era.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "dst4lyfe" on January 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have to say that this book is one of the best written books I have read for 2000. I wasn't sure in the beginning, but when Annette and her mother moved to Richland, Ohio, stuff started happenin'! It really annoyed me that Annetee wouldn't tell anyone that Mr. Boatwright was molesting her and threatening her. Annette never really developed a good self esteem or confidence in herself, so I could see why that happened. Her Mother wasn't much of a figure for Annette to mold after, so she didn't have much opportunity to become a "woman". I felt sorry for her throughout most of her life, and hope the best for her.
Now, Ms. Rhoda is another story in herself! I couldn't believe some of the stuff she got away with. I can't say it without giving away the story, but Rhoda was not your typical girl next door. She was sweet and attractive, but she was a devil in a blue dress!
Ms. Monroe really brought all her characters together to make a TERRIFIC story. Annette, Rhoda, Muh Dear, Scary Mary, Pee Wee, Mr. Boatwright, Judge Lawson, Levi, Florence and all the other characters blend together create a storyline that definitely shows God Don't Like Ugly. You reap what you sow. I don't think Annette will ever do anything without thinking of the consequences!
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