Little Beauties

Little Beauties

by Kim Addonizio
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Little Beauties by Kim Addonizio

The lives of three characters — an obsessive-compulsive, a pregnant teenager, and the teen's unborn child — come together in National Book Award finalist and Pushcart Prize winner Kim Addonizio's unsparingly funny and transcendent debut novel.

Diana McBride, a thirty-four-year-old former child pageant contender, now works in a baby store in Long Beach. Between dealing with a catastrophic haircut, the failure of her marriage, and phone calls from her alcoholic mother, Diana has gone off her OCD medication and is trying to cope via washing and cleaning rituals. When pregnant teenager Jamie Ramirez enters the store, Diana's already chaotic world is sent spinning.

Jamie can't stand being pregnant. She can't wait to get on with her normal life and give the baby up for adoption. But her yet-to-be-born daughter, Stella, has a fierce will and a destiny to fulfill. And as the magical plot of Little Beauties unfolds, these three characters' lives become linked in ever more surprising ways.

With a poet's ear for fresh, evocative language and a deft humor that exposes her characters' foibles, Addonizio perfectly captures the messiness and unexpected beauty of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743271837
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: 07/04/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 853,496
Product dimensions: 5.42(w) x 8.38(h) x 0.59(d)

About the Author

Kim Addonizio is the author of several acclaimed poetry collections, including What Is This Thing Called Love and Tell Me, which was a finalist for the 2000 National Book Award. Her poetry and fiction have appeared widely in literary journals and anthologies, including The Paris Review, Microfiction, Narrative, The Mississippi Review, and others. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and two NEA grants, Addonizio lives in Oakland, California.

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3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was really disappointing. I felt extrmemly uncomfortable being stuck in this OCD women's head. Very grey and depressing. It didn't wamm up until the very last couple pages. I skipped the last fourth of it, jumping to the end, just to find out what happened in the end (so I could get rid of this book ASAP). Almost gave me anxiety just reading about these disturbing, mental women.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a story that kept my interest. I enjoyed learning about 'the rules' of someone with OCD. I can't imagine trying to live with this disease. Diane, trying to overcome one rule at a time. Jamie, pregnant and not wanting a child has her own trouble. She has her own family and baby on the way troubles. Then theres Stella, the unborn-then born baby. She knows shes coming into a world where she's not wanted. All of these lives intertwine in the story that each of them end up needing each other. I enjoyed this story but didn't find that I felt fulfilled with it. I can't say I'd recommend this but it wasn't a bad book. Out of all the books out there in the world I'd of recommended somthing else.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure what to expect from this author but by the end of the first chapter I was hooked. The author did a great job of making her characters come alive - it was easy to care about what was happening to each of them. I enjoyed the format of the book as well - introducing the viewpoints from each of the main characters helped you to see them from the perspectives of the others. It has been a while since I read a book that I couldn't put down - this one did it for me. I don't think you will regret giving this one a try. I look forward to her next novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Little Beauties is a story that tells one story in the view of three different characters, one of which had no moral and is a subordinate character. The novel contains no mystery, no suspense, no in depth romance, and is based on a screwed up worldview of reality. This novel is entirely fiction and needs no more emotion to allow the readers to fully comprehend what the situations are, and how the situations are important. To begin Diana McBride (the first protagonist) is thirty-four years old and suffers from OCD, a divorce, and low self-esteem. Ironically Diana was entered into many beauty pageants as a young child but eventually grew out of them. She then married to a man named Tim, Tim's character is not explained thoroughly in the novel, Diana¿s husband had left her even before the literary piece began. Reasons for Tim¿s departure is due to his fear and annoyance of Diana¿s OCD. McBride currently works in a toddlers store named Teddy¿s World where she meets the second protagonist by the name of Jamie. Jamie is a pregnant seventeen-year-old girl who wishes to give up her daughter for adoption. With a mother who refused the idea of abortion and keeping the infant, Jamie had no choice but to follow her mothers¿ orders and give up the baby at birth. Like other literary pieces the protagonist fell in love with the newborn baby, Stella, momentarily after the baby was born. Deciding that she would rather keep her baby and live in poverty, Jamie runs away from home. Eventually the two protagonist Diana and Jamie meet up and decide to live with one another, Diana because of loneliness and Jamie in the sense of survival. A couple months pass and Jamie becomes eighteen, Diana and Jamie decide to go partying enable to celebrate. While in the bar celebrating, Anthony (a man that took Jamie to the hospital and helped her give birth) showed up and reintroduced himself. Anthony a widowed lover who claims he has lost his lover becomes drawn into a relationship with Diana. The protagonist, Diana, is also said to be overwhelmed by her husbands broken vows, but soon becomes entangled in an affair with Anthony, a man whom she has just met within the range of three days. For Diana, OCD is her inner conflict, even though Diana lets her OCD overcome her. Diana has no sense of struggle against her OCD and cares more for washing away her germs than getting rid of her cleaning problems. Excusing herself from the celebration, Jamie leaves and visits and old friend. In the time spent with her old companion Jamie gets drunk and a while afterwards Jamie gets high. Like an irresponsible teenager Jamie wants nothing more to do with her baby and decides to fly to New York to see Leila (her best friend from high school). Jamie selfishly leaves her baby in the care of Diana (a person who fears the babies germs). When Diana gets home and dismisses the babysitter Stella is sick. Without realizing it Diana goes off to bed. Stella then drifts off to a sleep and realizes that she is the reincarnation of Eva, Anthony¿s dead lover. The next morning Stella is taken into the hospital and Jamie comes home because she realizes she cares for the baby more than she thinks. In Little Beauties, a fictional novel by Kim Addonizio, the characters do not come to learn their mistakes nor solve their conflicts within each other or within themselves. Addonizio instead makes her characters cope or accept their faults without much struggle. The protagonists in the novel are two careless characters whom neither take blame nor learn from their mistakes. As an alternative the characters decide to make more mistakes rather than fixing their old ones. Overall the novel was a sufficient read, but the pages are filled with many emotionless events.