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Everyone Is Beautiful: A Novel Hardcover – February 17, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Everyone is Beautiful is for every woman who has ever struggled to find, hold on to, and nurture authenticity in the midst of that wild, messy, wonderful thing called motherhood.
This is the perfect book club book. It's also the kind of book that you hand to a close friend and grin when you say, "I think you'll relate."
The questions Lanie faces are the same ones we all do. Can we reconnect with our younger dreams? When did being something for someone else mean that we didn't have time to be what we need to be for ourselves? At some point, isn't important to say "no, I need to do this for me?" And, can you keep it all together at the end of the day?
This was well written, an easy, fast read with plenty of questions to ponder at the end of the day. You'll be glad you read it.
The plot revolves around a couple, Lanie and Peter, with three kids under 5, who have just moved to Boston so Peter can attend a graduate program in composing (he is a classical music composer). Lanie is determined to get herself back together, and begin nurturing her own artistic dreams again, and to that end begins going to a gym and taking a photography class at night after the kids are in bed. The ensuing events drive them apart, and their struggles are the heart of the book. In the midst of this are many scenes involving the chaos of having young kids - the kids covered in maxi-pads they've taken out of the grocery bag while Lanie is on the phone, the kids covered in poop they've taken out of a diaper at a dinner party, the kids filling the bathtub with shaving cream, etc.
Although some of the unruly-kids scenes were very funny, at other times it felt like overkill. And the plot climax partly revolves around a cell phone snafu caused by the kids that doesn't seem believable to me (I think most of us would fully test our cell phone out in this situation, believe me!!) And Lanie just seems a bit passive at times, and Peter a bit too self-involved, and all of that is required to make the plot work, but doesn't make for the greatest reader-character connection. But maybe that's just me!
I laughed out loud several times, and found myself nodding over and over again with her spot-on human observations.
One friend who also enjoyed the book said that she wished that it had gone slightly deeper, but then we decided that it would have been a deeper book, and it wouldn't have been such a delightful read.
Don't get me wrong -- this is not chick-lit, however it also doesn't go so deeply into the serious issues that it tackles that you find yourself feeling burdened down. Instead, it's uplifting.
Where that discovery takes her is something Center lets unfold with the help of some characters who are quirky enough in and of themselves. One little white lie that will be horrific and family to anyone packing on a few pounds plays a major plot point later on (I don't want to give too much away). Lainie's attempts to hold her family and marriage together, while also finding her own artistic impulses and inspirations, is at the heart of this book. Tender and touching, it makes me hope there are many more such novels in Center's future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is exremely well-written and entertaining. I loved it so much, I didn't want it to end. A must read for any mother! I would LOVE to see this made into a movie!Published 1 month ago by RONALLIST
This story was funny, but also very realistic about motherhood. I got tired of the "me, me, me" attitude of this woman though.Published 7 months ago by Nora M
I loved this book!! I read at least 10 books a month and stick with a lot of series. This book caught my attention because of the reviews and I took the chance. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Dana M Kastner
I read this book in one day! The story line was fun, fascinating and thought provoking. When I started it yesterday I didn't think I was going to like it and then I couldn't put it... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kindle Customer
Chose this book because of the title. I have always believed everyone is beautiful (unless they are cruel - cruelty diminishes beauty), and I loved the author's writing style,... Read morePublished 12 months ago by zipliner
A mom of 4, this really drew me in. I could relate on so many levels. Great book, highly recommended.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Life with three young boys can have its trials, but Center deals with their life with humor and a sharp eye for the beauty underneath. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Detesdeb
I liked this book. I liked the main character a lot, at times her husband annoyed me and other times I really liked him. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Shelby N.