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Mia is a granola-eating, sensible shoe–wearing, carbon footprint–conscious twenty-something living in a multicultural neighborhood in Chicago. Her mother, Babs, is a stiletto-wearing Zsa Zsa Gabor type who works as an activities hostess on a Caribbean cruise line … and if you guessed there’s some tension there, you’d be right. Factor in an unexpected pregnancy and Mia’s idealistic boyfriend—Lars is such a visionary he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage—and the mother-daughter relationship is, well, ...
Mia is a granola-eating, sensible shoe–wearing, carbon footprint–conscious twenty-something living in a multicultural neighborhood in Chicago. Her mother, Babs, is a stiletto-wearing Zsa Zsa Gabor type who works as an activities hostess on a Caribbean cruise line … and if you guessed there’s some tension there, you’d be right. Factor in an unexpected pregnancy and Mia’s idealistic boyfriend—Lars is such a visionary he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage—and the mother-daughter relationship is, well, stretched very thin. As is Mia’s sanity when Babs shows up to … help.
Actually, Mia has a whole neighborhood of quirky characters who want to help, including her BFF Frankie, a magenta-haired librarian; Silas, the courtly gentleman of indeterminate age who lives downstairs; and Adam, proprietor of the corner grocery store where Mia shops. But it’s Adam—endearing, kind, possessed of a perfect smile and impeccable Persian manners—who ultimately charms Babs and rescues Mia from more than one mother-induced meltdown. Could it be that Mia and Babs might actually be able to get along?
With Kimberly Stuart’s trademark irreverent humor and a surprising and satisfying take on romance, Stretch Marks is an authentic but tender story about family, grace, and the importance of a good grocer.
Posted September 25, 2013
Posted December 29, 2009
Stretch Marks by Kimberly Stuart is a humorous look at the way pregnancy changes and stretches a woman. Mia is very happy with her life, for the most part. While her job as a social worker doesn't always fulfill her need to change the world, she pays close attention to her carbon-footprint, eats organic, does yoga, and has a live-in boyfriend, Lars. Everything changes when her unexplained nausea and fatigue turns out to be a pregnancy and Lars leaves in the night. While Mia tries to make a new life for herself and the baby-to-be, her mother, Babs shows up to help. Babs is Mia's antithesis with her frosted hair, artificially enhanced features, and love for meat, leather, and plastics. Mia will be stretched to her limit making peace with Babs, her new body, and just maybe the cute guy at the grocery store. Several reviews are slamming Stuart for keeping the faith bubbling below the surface without the overt mentions that most Christian fiction has in spades, but I think that this makes Stretch Marks far more marketable to the secular reader. Stuart portrays Babs' faith and church realistically and gently sands down Mia's agnostic edges without ever alienating the reader. The novel is funny and moving and full of spot-on mother/daughter angst. Mia is a delightful character who will shatter readers' preconceived notions of tofu-eating/free trade buying/climate change activist.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2009
In Chicago social worker Mia Rathbun and her boyfriend Lars enjoy their carefree life together. All is perfect in their world until Mia becomes pregnant. Lars wants nothing to do with a baby or for that matter a pregnant woman; he deserts his girlfriend. The neighborhood rallies around Mia to assist her especially her BFF Frankie.
Still Mia feels abandoned and afraid, but rejects abortion or adoption as she plans to raise her child. Her estranged mother, Babs, arrives to help her daughter raise her grandchild. Although filled with good intentions, mother and daughter argue, fuss, and fight as Mia does not appreciate Babs' efforts especially as Babs still has meltdowns at inopportune moments.
STRETCH MARKS is an amusing yet deep relationship drama starring two beloved enemies who apparently need to be on opposite sides of the continent. The story line is fast-paced though a bit thin as mother and daughter war and love while neighbors like Adam try to charm both ladies into a peaceful coexistence. Fans will enjoy this fine character study of a mother and daughter reunion with the next generation on the way.
Posted January 24, 2010
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