Changing Faces

Changing Faces

by Kimberla Lawson Roby


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060780807
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 01/02/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 469,206
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 10.86(h) x 0.72(d)

About the Author

Kimberla Lawson Robyis the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Reverend Curtis Black series as well as many other novels and novellas. She lives with her husband in Rockford, Illinois.

Read an Excerpt

Changing Faces

Chapter One


My name is Whitney, and while it shames me to say it, I'm a compulsive overeater. I don't want to be, but that's just what I've been since I was a child and I can't seem to change it. Of course, I've tried changing my eating habits a great number of times, specifically over the last fifteen years, but none of my yo-yo dieting has ever worked—at least not for long. And believe me when I say that I've tried the very best of them, one right after another. Jenny Craig, Ornish, The Zone, Fit for Life, Slim-Fast, Herbalife, Atkins, and every other low-carb, no-carb, low-calorie weight-reduction fad on the planet. I've even gone as far as starving myself completely, which was actually working until that night I passed out in the middle of aerobics class. Good God, I must have been entirely out of my mind.

But insanity is not uncommon for women like me who are at least one hundred pounds heavier than they should be—women like me who spend every waking moment planning their next delicious meal and then promising themselves that they really will restart their diet this coming Monday. Sure, there are many overweight women who love themselves just the way they are and who walk around proudly with their heads held high, but most of us are not happy with the way we look. More importantly, we are not happy with the way we feel or the way some of us tend to be treated. Like the other day, when I was sitting at the mall in the food court section wolfing down a colossal meal from Taco Bell, and the couple sitting a few feet away looked over at me in disgust. They never said a word, but Iknew immediately what they were thinking. They were wondering why I had the nerve to be eating anything at all, let alone two large burritos, a salad, and a large drink. I could read their minds as clear as day, and while I wanted to beg for their understanding, I never looked in their direction again. Instead, I pretended that they didn't even exist.

But actually, this was a huge part of my problem. I've always searched for acceptance from others and I have my "wonderfully loving" mother to thank for it. From the time I was eight, she was already criticizing the way I looked, the way I walked, the way I did anything. Nothing was ever good enough. She demanded perfection, but I never gave it to her. Tina, my younger sister, on the other hand, did whatever it took to make Mother happy, and Mother has always loved her more because of it. Mother had even slipped and told me so a few years back during an argument we were having, but now she denies ever saying it. Still, I know what I heard and it is the reason our relationship has been terribly strained ever since.

I drove my SUV onto I-94 West and immediately came to a complete stop. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper the same as always, and I couldn't help wondering why I did this every day. Obviously, I needed to work for a living, but why I drove all the way to downtown Chicago from Covington Park, the south suburb where I lived, didn't make much sense. Not when I could have easily taken the Metra train round-trip. But to be frank, I just didn't feel comfortable doing it. The Metra was nice enough, but for some reason I'd always had this weird phobia about traveling on anything relating to the rail system. Of course, no one understood it, but it was just who I was.

I continued on my journey and realized I was barely a few miles from the exit that would take me to my favorite Krispy Kreme location. Each day I fought tooth and nail trying hard not to go there, and sometimes I actually didn't. Sometimes I drove past the exit and even felt good about it, but it was always a major struggle.

I slowed my acceleration and waited for the flow of traffic to start up again. When I did, my phone rang.

I rolled my eyes toward the ceiling when I saw that it was my sister.

"Hello?" I said.

"Where are you?"

"In traffic, on my way to work. What's up with you?"

"Why on earth do you keep doing that?" she said, ignoring my question.

"Doing what, Tina?"

"Driving all the way downtown."

"I do it because this is a free country and because I want to."


"Whatever is right. Now, did you want something in particular or were you just calling to harass me?"

"I'm calling for two reasons. Well, actually, three. First, I wanted to tell you that I got promoted yesterday to purchasing manager."

"Well, good for you. I know you've been wanting that to happen."

"I have, and it's going to pay me fifteen thousand more dollars a year. Then, on top of that, Riley Jackson asked me out. You know, that fine-as-wine anchorman on Channel Eight."

"That's nice."

"Nice? It's fabulous. He's a huge local celebrity and that means I'll be going to the best parties that Chicago has to offer."

I couldn't believe how shallow Tina was. She was so, so my mother and every bit as appalling.

"What's the third thing you wanted to tell me?" I hurried to say because I didn't want to hear any more of my sister's bragging.

"That I'm planning a surprise birthday party for Mother."

"Oh really? When?"

"Duh. On her birthday."

"I know, Tina. But on her birthday, near her birthday, when?"

"Her birthday falls on a Saturday this year, so that's when I'd like to do it."

"Actually, my twenty-year high school reunion is in November, but I didn't pay much attention to the date. I'll have to make sure it's not the same day."

Changing Faces. Copyright © by Kimberla Roby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Changing Faces 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a good read, somewhat predictable storyline but overall, a good book.
plum_sky More than 1 year ago
This is my 1st novel by author and looking forward to reading more. The characters in the stories keeps you in the suspense. I especially enjoy the character of Whitney. I am plus size myself and knows how it feels when people watch you. I don't want to spoil the ending, so go order this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first book I read of Kimberla's was Casting the First Stone. As I started reading this one I thought it wasn't as good, but soon enough I couldn't put it down. I enjoy her work.
SassyDiva More than 1 year ago
A great read, a little slow at first but it picks up and becomes great. The characters are different enough yet real in todays time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book within 3 days. A fast paced read. This author has great talent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great and have recommended it to friends. It didnt have me on the edge of my seat like others I have read, but it had a happy ending and I am satisfied.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thougt the story plot was good but how it was brought about needed some revision. The story didn't flow naturally, but it was a decent read. She has other books that are really, really, good.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I definitely recommend this novel as a reader choice. The story line was very good, it kept me yearning for more and after completing this novel you'll see that it is well worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome to read it was so real that you felt just what the characters were going through and they come to life on every page. My daughter introduce me to the book and I just have to say that it is awesome and so is the editor Ms.Kimberla Roby keep on writing and I will keep on reading were getting ready to start on 'Casting the First Stone' and I know it will be great. You go Girl. Princess
Guest More than 1 year ago
Changing Faces is a damn good novel. The characters feel real and are easy to relate to. The element of hatred within a supposedly loving relationship is original as well. However, the book was a little too predictable for me, especially given the way the points of view were presented...more with Charisse's story than the other characters. This was my first Kimberla Lawson Roby book and it's doubtful that it will be my last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was the greatest. It had so much going on. Funny, shocking, and sad events. Unbelievable. This book was excellent. I cannot wait for the next book. I always tell others about this great African American author.
Guest More than 1 year ago
onyx95 on LibraryThing 17 hours ago
This story is told from three points of view, long time friends who find that life lessons are sometimes hard to accept and to deal with. Whitney, the executive with weight issues and self esteem problems starts on diets regularly and this time is determined to follow through. Taylor, the lawyer with a two year long relationship finds that she has some serious health issues of her own that need to be dealt with. Charisse, an emergency room nurse that has a seemingly loving family, the husband, a son, and a daughter, but does her past have anything to do with the reason she may be losing control of everything in her life.Being told from different points of view, was an interesting way to try to get to know these main characters, how they relate to friends, family and each other. There were a few times that I did feel a connection with each of them, however slight. The author seemed to be creating characters that could relate to nearly every women, it is unfortunate that the connection was difficult to maintain. Some of the choices that these women made were out of character, and the feeling of disappointment in each of them was very hard to look past. The ending felt abrupt, disjointed and partially predictable.
JazzyPen on LibraryThing 29 days ago
CHANGING FACES by Kimberla Lawson Roby is engaging from page one. Roby shows that she is indeed a masterful storyteller who can write about diverse characters, not just her ever-popular, preacher-you-love-to-hate, Rev. Curtis Black. In her new release, she introduces readers to three women with relationship issues who have been friends for years (reminiscent of Waiting to Exhale minus a friend). When one of them changes, their friendship could forever be damaged.Whitney is a beautiful, professional woman who struggles with her weight. She has tried just about every diet that exists, but each attempt has ended in failure. She admits to being a compulsive overeater, but it doesn¿t help that her thin mother and sister are unsupportive and never offer an encouraging word. Whitney simply wants someone to love her for her. That someone may just be Rico, the gorgeous man she meets at the local gym, who is not bothered by her size, but is willing to help her goal of shedding pounds before her class reunion.Taylor is a great attorney who's been dating Cameron for two years and still has not received the marriage proposal that she's been waiting for. Cameron continues to ask for Taylor¿s patience as he tries to get his architecture business off the ground. However, as Taylor experiences a medical scare, she revaluates her life and her patience may have just run out, especially when she sees that Cameron is not as attentive as he should be.Charisse is probably the most flawed character of the three. She claims to be a devout Christian, but she's got many skeletons in her closet. Normally, she is vocal, opinionated and very much in control of every facet of her life. She even runs her husband as if he¿s a trained puppy. But when he discovers one of her sinful secrets, his subservience goes out the window as he threatens to go public with what he knows. Meanwhile, Charisse¿s relationship with her daughter continues to deteriorate and resemble the dysfunctional relationship she has with her own mother.While it was nice to see the author step outside the philandering preacher storyline (although a preacher is present in this book), I was slightly disappointed that she chose the passé girlfriends-with-problems theme. Nonetheless, the novel touches on realistic issues such as food addiction and mental illness. Charisse's story, which showed the most creativity and had a number of twists, could have easily been the main storyline with Whitney's as a sub-plot. CHANGING FACES was touching and funny with several laugh-out-loud moments and readers will certainly root for their favorite heroine, but the story was also painfully predictable at times. Overall, Roby is still a great storyteller and I'm looking forward to seeing what she'll come up with next.
altima313 on LibraryThing 3 months ago
Wow, this is an excellent book! I didn't want to put it down. With surprising twists, colorful characters, and an unexpected ending. The novel touches on realistic issues such as food addiction and mental illness. Charisse's story, which showed the most creativity and had a number of twists, could have easily been the main storyline with Whitney's as a sub-plot. CHANGING FACES was touching and funny with several laugh-out-loud moments Roby rounds out the book with messages centering on the importance of relationships with family and friends. It's certainly a book you want to have in your collection.
Obee50 More than 1 year ago
Great book! ...I needs a sequel... What happen to the friends and etc.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was ok... not really what i expected... the book did indeed start off slow and there wasnt much dramatic changes in the end... the book was just ok... nothin more nothin less... Akeshia Marcellina
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. It started out somewhat slaow but as i continued reading the plot became more complex which led to an amazing ending! Not predictable at all...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love this book, from chapter to chapter i couldn't put it down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I can relate to the characters and there situations. Charise was my favorite character because she was hurting the most. No one saw her pain until it was too late. The ending was somewhat satisfying, i wish Charise could have had a second chance.... but thats my empathy for damaged souls. I really like this book. I am looking to readsome of her other books. "The best kept secret" sounds good. Thanks Kimberla!
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