The author of Conversations with a Fat Girl—optioned for HBO—returns with the hilarious and heartfelt story of a woman who must learn how to be the heroine of her own life—a journey that will teach her priceless lessons about love, friendship, family, work, and her own heart.
An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book—Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero—that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign—and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life—she’ll win the account.For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control.To have the life she wants—to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be—she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 7.80(h) x 3.70(d)|
About the Author
Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl, Seeing Me Naked, A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents, More Like Her, and Nowhere but Home. An Emmy-nominated writer, she lives in Los Angeles, and is hard at work on her next novel and several film and television projects.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I love Liza Palmer's stuff. Nowhere But Home made me cry (doesn't happen often with a book). I expect I'll love this new one as well. She's one nice person.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Anna Wyatt has been working at an ad agency and has been looking for the next big project and finds it and pursues it with all of her self. At the same time, she is trying to be the rock for her family and do all of the things for her friends. She has always put others first and through the story finds the balance of putting herself first sometimes. One thing I absolutely loved about this book was the "love story" aspect of this book wasn't the focus. This woman has to focus on her family and her career first before she can get back into the love game - it is nice to see a story that doesn't have love at the center.
Sometimes a book comes along at the perfect moment — when you are sad, when you are seeking a bit of strength, and when you are grappling to understand the changes going on around you. Girl Before a Mirror is that book. As someone who reads plenty, I’ll admit to saying this before but it’s funny — ever since I finished this particular title I find myself recommending it right and left. It’s so relevant to so many situations I’m hearing about and even — the world — where a major motion picture event is based on a self-published book about BDSM and people love standing on their high horse and judging what other people deem as entertainment. Main character Anna is coming off a year of zero dating, she’s eliminating problematic friends from her life, and she’s taking control of her work situation. As an account executive, she seem the males at her job constantly patted on the back, and she determined to bring in a new account and make a splash. Without genuine support from her firm, she sets out with a rookie colleague (Sasha) to land a body wash account in a surprising place — a popular romance novel convention in Phoenix. So how does this all connect? Marketing is all about making two things click, and I don’t think Anna realizes just how great she is at this kind of thing. Taking a washed-up product (ha) and making it new? Sound familiar? This product, in ways, is a reflection of her — uninspired, unsettled, and a bit lost. She, too, is in need of refreshing and the first part of her answer comes in an unexpected form — Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero — the current “it” book urging woman to be the heroes of their own stories. Anna decides to use it as a launching pad for her new campaign — which is how she finds herself meeting the Elaine Stritch-like author, attending pirate booty themed parties, making out with a hot guy in an elevator, and hanging with the mysterious yet capable Sasha at a romance novel convention. Like many, Anna judges the readers who fancy romance novels and even begrudges the writers who write them. She believes them to be nothing more than a guilty pleasure, and not something people would actually admit to being great stories. So much of what Anna has built herself to be is challenged on this trip. Why does she have to stick her nose up at everything? When did she become THAT person who stomps on those things that make other people happy? Who is she to deem one thing better than another? In ways, this passion project forces Anna to find her compassion. It forces her to be her own advocate, even when her decisions put her in precarious situations. She must let loose and truly listen to get what she wants, to find some kind of happiness. In truth, she’s only in Phoenix for a few days but it’s such a catalyst for the rest of the story. Ya know, Palmer could have decided to end her book when the conference did, but she pushed Anna to her breaking point. She pushed her to learn more about herself and her limits. Life is this messy monster, and Palmer speaks that truth in the two books of hers that I’ve read. So much that I found myself questioning my own decisions and wondering if I tried enough, did I think enough about the other person, or was I right to think it was time for me to bow out and try something new? From career decisions to falling in love to friend breakups and fade outs, Girl Before a Mirror spoke to so many of my vulnerabilities but it also urged me to be strong. In a world where women are constantly brought down because of their emotions or mistakes, it’s a revelation to come into contact with characters who are feeling powerless, floundering a little bit, but making the big step to ask themselves the big questions and make things right — no matter how long it takes, no matter how many heartbreaks it takes to get there. Not only this deep stuff, but I can’t forget about how important it is to embrace what you love and continuing to hold it dear even when others don’t understand. There’s a reason why we are gravitate to certain things, and, we shouldn’t have to answer to anyone but ourselves. There are limitless discussions and feelings to be unearthed in Girl Before a Mirror, and I have a feeling its not quite done with me yet.
Better, smart women's fiction.This is the first Liza Palmer novel I have read. While I have found funnier women's fiction this book did get me to do some thinking of what do women want. The main of character of the book is Anna Wyatt who works in advertising and just turned forty. She is a bit of a control freak and achievement oriented. In her career she feels frustrated because she feels she is put into the pink collar ghetto. To further her career, she plans to maneuver to obtain a large pharmaceutical company account by re-marketing is original product a shower gel used by women. If the campaign is for shower gel is successful Anna Wyatt feels it will put her into the "major" league of the advertising world. There are two entertaining side characters. The first is Audrey. While she is the sometimes victim of the male hierarchy she is basically a female backstabbing saboteur. The second is Sasha who is young and talented but not taken seriously because she is very good looking. The better parts about in the novel are about empowering women in the business world. Like the book's heroine, I don't read "romance" novels. The Romance novel's fan convention in the book was probably put into the book to add some humor. Anna Wyatt's love interest I think is put in the novel because I think that someone felt the novel needed a love interest for the book to sell. The better parts of the book dealt with questions about what women really want and what has derailed women's childhood images of themselves as being powerful princesses.
I enjoyed this book as I have all of Liza Palmer's books. I was surprised that she was able to write a character who is older than herself so well.