Such A Pretty Face

Such A Pretty Face

by Cathy Lamb
4.3 87

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Such a Pretty Face 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 87 reviews.
poosie More than 1 year ago
After suffering a heart attack, Stevie Barrett, 32, primarily caused by her severe obesity, she knows that it's now or never to get on task. She makes the decision to have gastric bypass surgery and is now 170 lbs lighter. But this doesn't really solve all of her problems. This book deals with tough topics like overeating, anorexia, divorce, self-esteem problems, mental illness, abuse, schizophrenia, and death. BUT, one a lighter side it is also filled with love, devotion, hope, humor, trust and forgiveness. Terrific Read!!
TheCrowdedLeaf More than 1 year ago
Stevie Barrett once weighed over 300 pounds. She ate food to smother the grief she felt over the loss of her baby sister, schizophrenic mother, and loving grandparents all within a short time period. She ate to lose herself. She ate to hide. And then she had a heart attack, and eating was no longer the solution if she wanted to survive. Several surgeries and 170 pounds later, Stevie has lost the weight but hasn't managed to find herself in the process. Such a Pretty Face is the beautiful story of one woman's search for herself amongst the burden of this thing we call Life. At times both literary and whimsical, Such a Pretty Face fulfilled my need for a meaty, meaningful story, while also lightening my soul with love and sunshine. It made my heart ache with sadness for Stevie's childhood and the oppressing reality of schizophrenia, but the flashbacks to her earlier years are followed with laughter as she struggles to keep an outraged divorcee from tearing her ex-husband to shreds. Lamb's writing is skillful and exploratory, drifting from inner dialogue to prose and back again. We really get to know Stevie, staying inside her head throughout the full novel, feeling the tide of emotions she is drifting on. With an oppresive uncle, a bulldozing best friend, a mound of medical debt, and a hopeless crush on her neighbor, Stevie is lost in the world and the narrative explores her natural sense of fear, followed by her internal strength and courage to stand up for herself and what she wants. Overall, Such a Pretty Face is a culmination of fabulous traits from some of my favorite books: a story of family pain and love (Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson), mixed with a woman's courage and strength (The Wife's Tale by Lori Lansens), with a dash of Sarah Addison Allen's fanciful language thrown in the mix. But most of all, it simply is what it is: a beautifully literary and touching novel by a wonderful writer. I will definitely be reading more of Cathy Lamb in the future.
PiccoultFan More than 1 year ago
I still can't decide if I really liked this book or not! I did move through it pretty quickly, wanting to find out what happened to the characters, but I wanted to like it more than I did. Some parts were really interesting, while others dragged on and bored me. The story of her childhood and her mother being a schizophrenic was very intense and sad, not saying that was a bad thing, but I had to read a funny, light-hearted book after this one! I do think the author did a good job of showing what it is like to live with someone with mental illness. I think I expected this to be more about her weight loss, but it was really more about the other parts of her life. Pretty decent read, just not what I was looking for.
harstan More than 1 year ago
She once was well over 300 pounds, but lost 170 pounds thanks in part from the fear brought on by a heart attack. However, thirty -something legal assistant Stevie Barrett is no longer sure who she is. Pondering what to do as mentally she still feels obese, Stevie decides that the only way to move on is to look back starting with the death of her mentally ill mother drowning her sister and the uncle who raised her though he loathed her. As her cousins encourage her while they prepare a gala to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of their parents, Stevie knows she must face her uncle. She also wants to date her neighbor, quit her job to become an artist and a roller derby performer. However, first she must deal with the uncle who resented his poor orphaned niece. Stevie is a super lead character who holds her tale together as she loses the weight she realizes she has not rid herself of her insecurities baggage; to do that she must face her uncle as the other person she would need to confront her mom is long dead. The scenes in which Stevie reflects on her life by herself or to a lesser degree with her cousin are powerful and gripping. When her uncle or her mom (in flashbacks) appears, they come across as caricatures though that is mostly because Stevie filters them through how she sees them. Readers will enjoy this deep contemporary character study as losing the physical weight is not enough; one must lose the emotional and mental weights too. Harriet Klausner
so_death_bye More than 1 year ago
this book is really good and it's has changed me in a way. at sometimes i skipped the pages dealing with helen. and if this book does not hit home for you in some way. you need to reread the book.
Mrs_Barrett More than 1 year ago
I LOVED the book. I liked how she had my last name too. It was kind of errie reading this book because it is almost like she is reading my life story instead. I didn't have the same childhood but adulthood yes. Everything from the weight, to the health, to the abuse, to being invisable even when you feel like the size of an elephant. I was completely wiered out that the internal dialoge was exactually what I would have said, yes even hitting the dirt to avoid a hottie. It gave me a little bit of hope. I want to get the surgery, need to because of health, but no isurance cutbacks took the surgery off the program. Oh well someday, hopefully. I hope I get my happily ever after someday and find a good guy too. Guess you just have to be skinny to find them. I re-read this book often. Maybe every other week I re-read it. I love the fact that someone was not afraid of wrighting a romance novel about someone who was hefty (or at least was). Too bad the second surgery costs 30,000. If you are or have been a large woman you might enjoy this book. It gives me hope for a brighter future.
BIGBROWN More than 1 year ago
What a great book. I admit there were times when i would put it down and get bored with it, but overall it was very good. maybe it was too long. The story had alot of humor in it and was very raw.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down.
BookAddictRS46 More than 1 year ago
Amazing book!! I've loved every book Cathy Lamb has written! The BEST books make you laugh out loud, cry, & think.  Every single book of her's does it for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Powerful
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
3-1/2 stars. There were many things to like about this story. Stevie is delightful and surrounded by a colorful cast that plays more like a sitcom than the tragic story it is. In fact, it alternates between humor and gut-wrenching anguish at a manic pace. The story opens with a horrific tale of loss at the hands of her mentally ill mother. As the story progresses, Stevie must come to accept her past if she’s going to move forward and have a future. And with any luck, that future might involve hunky neighbor, Jake. Plot The plot is jagged. It moves in so many directions, it’s hard to keep straight at times. First, there’s the overarching plot of Stevie dealing with her demons. After feeding her grief and guilt with comfort foods, she balloons to over 300 pounds and has a heart attack at the age of 32. That’s the wakeup call she needs to lose  the weight and transform herself on the outside. But the biggest issues are the wounds no one can see, the ones she does everything to hide. Then there’s the subplot with Jake, another with a coworker, another one with her art and still another with the family drama. At times it feels like there are too many balls in the air, until it becomes clear they’re linked. Once Stevie learns how to cope with her past, everything feels a bit like a juggling act. Characters This is a character-driven story and Stevie’s character is solid, deep, and authentic. Sadly the rest of the characters are not. Most feel like cliched stereotypes that are so over the top, they’re completely unbelievable. If the story was a comedy, that might have been okay, but the charicatures they portray only serve to undermine the seriousness of mental illness that the threads through the story. Bottom Line The story was good, but could have been so much better with a stronger supporting cast. There were many times when I would set the book aside and read something else because the characters were so unbelievably awful. But Stevie kept me coming back. I loved her and I wanted to see her succeed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love cathy lamb, this book is wonderful i would highly recomend it!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was hard for me to get into. I would read it and put it down. I finally got thru it. The character Helen was too difficult to understand. Cathy Lamb is a great author but this one was much different than her other books.
Trishinomaha More than 1 year ago
This is probably the one of the best books I've read in a very long time. The characters are all so well written - some you hate and some you love and wish you could invite to lunch. Well worth reading!
Reader_Grl More than 1 year ago
I have read thousands of books in my life, and at the age of 50, I must say this is the best book I have ever read. EVER! I laughed in places and cried and cheered at the end. I loved Stevie and the support she had from her wonderful cousins (who had their own set of family-related problems). As Stevie tries to find herself, she has a "secret"...as an accomplished woodworker, she crafts chairs and names them after talking with them and discovering their "personality." She then paints them in great detail according to their nature. Such a lovely, lovely idea! Thank you, Ms. Lamb, for this book. It was a true pleasure to read.
Heinze2104 More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful!! It made me laugh out loud, and cry. I have read it several times, always enjoying it. I gave it as a gift, and she loved it too. Its my favorite book written by Cathy Lamb!!
iloveum More than 1 year ago
A great read like all of Cathy Lamb's books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Kept me intrigued throughout. Very heartfelt and emotional. Cant wait to try some of her other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is not about being overweight or even stevie losing the weight if you are looking for a book to inspire you in weight loss or think this book is a story of a overweight women getting skinny then getting back her life this is not your story. Weight is a side story touched on enough to make since but is not the focal point. This book is about family it is beautiful and insping in the since of finding not just yourself but peace read this book it is not always happy but it is worth it . This is not a shallow weight issue book so dont expect it, it is much more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago