Hungry for Happiness

Hungry for Happiness

3.0 2
by James Villas
     
 

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In his beguiling and powerful new novel, the award-winning author of Dancing in the Lowcountry serves up a story of friendship, Southern food, dreams, and determination.

Loretta Crawford grew up in a family where lives are small and appetites are big, and where the cure for what ails you can usually be found in a plate of hot biscuits or a slice of

Overview

In his beguiling and powerful new novel, the award-winning author of Dancing in the Lowcountry serves up a story of friendship, Southern food, dreams, and determination.

Loretta Crawford grew up in a family where lives are small and appetites are big, and where the cure for what ails you can usually be found in a plate of hot biscuits or a slice of rich pound cake. The results show all too clearly on her 5'4", 280-pound frame. Until one day, Loretta realizes she's had enough—enough of her mama's sugarcoated putdowns and of feeling unattractive, and enough of being called "Bubbles" when she blows her saxophone at Ziggy's club.

The final indignity comes when her loser husband, Lyman, leaves her for another woman. Down but determined, Loretta opts for weight loss surgery. As her size plummets, her horizons expand. Men look at her with desire instead of derision, and the catering business that was once a hobby begins to take off in earnest...

The fact is, no one in Houston can cook as well as Loretta, whether it's spicy shrimp Creole or delectable pecan wafers. Soon, the food that was her downfall promises to be her key to success. But the closer she gets to attaining the life she's always dreamed of—complete with a new love interest—the messier things become. Once, Loretta was sure that happiness, or something close to it, would be found in her first pair of skinny jeans. The reality isn't just complicated—it's surprising, heartbreaking, and ultimately liberating.

Moving, witty, and resolutely uplifting, here is a heroine as real as she is unforgettable, and a story that will resonate with every woman...fat, thin, and every size in between.


Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A former fatty adjusts to life in the svelte lane in Villas's agreeable latest. Loretta Crawford has dropped nearly 100 pounds since having her stomach banded, a decision hastened by her husband's ditching her for a skinny skank. Now, the part-time sax player and animal shelter worker is on track to become one of Houston's hottest caterers. Villas (Dancing in the Lowcountry) follows Loretta's exuberant transformation with a brassy first-person narration crackling with a Texas blue-collar twang that generally entertains and sometimes annoys. Loretta's boisterous adventures with men, meanwhile, are a hoot--notably with chubby chaser Vernon Parrish, who becomes annoyed at her weight loss and marries her seriously rotund BFF. Villas, an accomplished chef, tacks on authentic Texas recipes as Loretta becomes a larger-than-life wild woman worthy of an encore. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Former Town & Country magazine food and wine editor Villas's second venture into fiction (after Dancing in the Lowcountry) is filled with Southern flare, comfort food, and character flaws. Loretta and her family love food, both eating and cooking it, but she is sickened by her size and elects to undergo banded gastroplasty to lose weight. As she works hard to change her physical appearance, Loretta must also make healthy emotional and mental changes to live a life that is truly rewarding and fulfilling. After a series of unsatisfying encounters with men, Loretta puts her energy into her catering business, where her love of food can be shared and enjoyed by others. (Recipes are included.) VERDICT The unsympathetic characters are difficult to identify with, and the plot gets mired in issues of weight, low self-esteem, and abuse. In the end, readers will wish for a more positive and empowered transformation of Loretta. Not recommended.—Anne M. Miskewitch, Chicago P.L.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780758228482
Publisher:
Kensington
Publication date:
11/01/2010
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

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Hungry for Happiness 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Sunnydayz More than 1 year ago
The synopsis leads one to hope for redemption and insight for the main characacter, Loretta. However, chapters are merely a series of sad events, some meant to be humorous, that only serve as examples of Loretta's low self-esteem. I was very happy to finish the book and move on. The best part is the author's inclusion of recipes at the end of the book.
NikkiAz More than 1 year ago
Hungry For Happiness is a great book about a woman who finally takes charge of her life- Loretta once was a 280 pound woman, and decided to make the changes to become thinner. She had a surgery done, and is now skinnier. She learns how to deal with the new challenges she faces in her life, her family's lack of doing anything about their own weight, and dealing with an ex husband who had left her, and fining new love. James Villas creates a heartwarming story, with characters that are well created and bring life to the pages. Hungry For Happiness will appeal to readers of all types, for so many can relate in different ways.