Lessons in Laughing Out Loud

Lessons in Laughing Out Loud

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by Rowan Coleman
     
 

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Internationally bestselling author Rowan Coleman delivers a heartwarming new tale about a recent divorcee who finds the courage to tackle her weight issues, her love life, and the dark family secret that has haunted her for years.

Willow Briar (known as Will) is thirty-six-years old, five feet two, and a size eighteen. Now that she’s divorced,

Overview

Internationally bestselling author Rowan Coleman delivers a heartwarming new tale about a recent divorcee who finds the courage to tackle her weight issues, her love life, and the dark family secret that has haunted her for years.

Willow Briar (known as Will) is thirty-six-years old, five feet two, and a size eighteen. Now that she’s divorced, Will’s social life revolves around her job—working for her demanding talent agent boss Victoria Kincade—and her best friend Daniel Fayre, a successful fashion photographer for whom she harbors a secret crush.

An identical twin, Will has struggled with her self-esteem for years—particularly when she looks at her slim, married, happy sister. One day she finds her luck suddenly turning around after buying a fabulous pair of vintage shoes that make her feel slimmer, taller, and sexier. These shoes seem to have a secret history, and Will starts to wonder if they are a little bit magic.

Little does she know not even a magic eight ball could predict the shocking turn her life is about to take or that the courage she needs to confront her deep-seated issues will require more than a fashion makeover—it will take a life makeover. Armed with newfound confidence to begin her journey, Will finds the courage to face the dark family secrets of her past—and claim the future meant for her.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Magical shoes inspire a total life makeover in Coleman’s sixth novel (after The Home for Broken Hearts). Though her friends count her as “always up for a good night out,” Willow Briars actually finds little in life worth laughing about these days. She’s jumped from job to job, pursued unattainable men, and fought the low self-esteem that comes with her full figure (her thin, successful, happily married identical twin sister isn’t helping). While running an errand for her overbearing boss one day, Willow discovers a pair of vintage pumps in a mysterious back-alley shop that slim her instantly but turn her life upside down. Later that night, her 15-year-old ex-stepdaughter, Chloe, shows up, pregnant and terrified. As Willow searches for ways to help, she confronts her own failed marriage and finds inspiration to begin making positive changes. Repairing her psyche, however, will also mean confronting a traumatic past and exposing that old chestnut: a long-held family secret. After sidelining an initially intriguing premise, Coleman’s tone veers wildly from romantic comedy to gritty drama, making her heroine hard to pin down. Whether seeking humor or pathos, readers will likely be disappointed on either front. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
An unhappy and overweight single Londoner finds her world transformed after donning a very special pair of shoes. As the reliable and trusted underling to gleefully ruthless talent agent Victoria Kincade, Willow Briar is used to fading into the background, especially when surrounded by Victoria's celebrity clients. Attractive but heavy, she has seen numerous opportunities—and men—pass her by. A bit of a recluse outside of work, she remains close with her twin sister Holly, a slim, sweet mother of 4-year-old girls who lives in the suburbs. Holly is a living reminder of everything Willow could have been. So when Victoria insists Willow hide waifish starlet India Torrance in her dingy flat after an on-set romance goes bad, she knows she doesn't really have a choice. After reluctantly agreeing, she walks into a vintage shop on a random block and walks out wearing a fabulous pair of sexy pumps. Almost instantly Willow feels better about herself, and begins to get positive attention from friends and strangers alike. And then Chloe, the pregnant teenage daughter of her ex-husband Sam, shows up on her doorstep. It was Sam, a ruggedly handsome wine merchant, who called off their marriage, but Willow blames herself. Losing Chloe in the process was extremely painful for both of them. Still smarting from Willow's perceived abandonment, Chloe has attitude to spare, and insists Willow make it up to her by allowing her to crash at her place as well. With Chloe and the young movie star holed up and bonding, Willow tries out her new shoe-inspired confidence on her longtime best friend Daniel, a photographer with a thing for models. Willow meets up with Sam again, too, as they try to figure out what is best for Chloe. But when Willow sabotages a chance for new love, she realizes that unresolved issues from her past have kept her from a fulfilling life. Eager to change that, she takes a brave trip back to her hometown to confront an ugly family secret—before it's too late. Coleman (The Home for Broken Hearts, 2010, etc.) seems to be trying to do too much in this novel, and the shift from comedy to drama is a bit jarring. But Willow manages to be quite a sympathetic creation. One woman's attempt to take charge of her destiny—with a side of magic realism.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451606416
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Publication date:
03/20/2012
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
977,225
Product dimensions:
5.36(w) x 8.02(h) x 1.05(d)

Meet the Author

Rowan Coleman worked in bookselling and publishing for seven years and won the Company magazine Young Writer of the Year award in 2000. She is the author of The Accidental Mother, Another Mother’s Life, a 2008 Indie Next Notable Pick, Mommy By Mistake, The Accidental Family, and Home for Broken Hearts. She lives with her husband, daughter, and son in England.

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Lessons in Laughing Out Loud 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful and fun story. Laughs, intrigue, and a heartwarming story!