Monday, March 05, 2012
Wow. Okay, so 'Such A Pretty Face' is the first novel I've read by Cathy Lamb, and I must say - it was amazing! At first, I thought it was going to take a while to read this, because it seemed to move rather slow in the first few chapters, but then I found that the story and characters just sucked me in. This novel follows Stevie, a young woman who had lost over 170 pounds after bariatric surgery (which she underwent after suffering from a heart-attack.) The reason Stevie had originally let herself become over 300 pounds in the first place is because she saw food as a comforting escape from her childhood memories.
Stevie had lived with her grandparents growing up because her father had passed away when she was a baby, and her mother suffered from Schizophrenia. Unlike having a normal childhood, Stevie had to deal with never knowing how her mother would act at any giving moment - often crying when it appeared her mom disliked her. At one point after being institutionalized, it is discovered that Stevie's mother is pregnant yet again, and after the baby is born Stevie is instantly attached and in love.
Sadly, it is in the very first chapter that you learn that during a rainstorm, Stevie's mother throw's both of her children off of a bridge and into a river, and then jumps in herself in an effort to escape the voices she hears in her head. Stevie is the only survivor. The bulk of the novel focuses on how the new, thinner Stevie is trying to find out who she is as an individual, while discovering more about her past, and learning to forgive herself for not being able to save her sister. There are also flashbacks in the novel which give more details about Stevie's childhood and her relationship with her mother.
I found that I really loved this book! It even had me crying at the end, because I was already emotionally attached to Stevie's character. I felt that the story was well written, and the flashbacks were seamlessly woven into it. I loved many of the side characters - including Stevie's sweetheart of a cousin, Lance, and her quirky friend, Zena. I do, however, feel that some characters were a bit underdeveloped and perhaps stereotypical - mainly her main squeeze, Jake, who doesn't seem to have much of a personality except as 'Mr. Perfect.' Still, this may be just because he's only described through Stevie's eyes. At any rate, this novel was definitely worth my time, and I would recommend it to anyone. Stevie was a witty, likable character, and her story was very touching.
Labels: book review