Friday, August 10, 2018

Everyone Is Beautiful by Katherine Center

Everyone Is Beautiful by Katherine Center
published 2009 by Random House Publishing
Source: bought the ebook for my Nook

Publisher's Summary:

Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She’s left behind family, friends, and a comfortable life–all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead last–and when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion–joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.

My Thoughts:
Katherine Center is one of those authors who always delivers exactly what you expect. This is the third book I've read by her and I know by now that I can count on her for a little drama, a little fluff, a mostly happy ending, a fair dose of humor, and some serious stuff that usually includes parenting and relationships. I can also always count on her for some great gems of truth, like the ones I shared with you yesterday.

I can relate to Lanie. Although I often felt like Center made living with three small kids much worse than it really is on a daily basis, I was also once the stay-at-home mom of three young children. There are days when you'd sell your soul for a conversation with an adult. It is easy to stop feeling good about yourself when finding time for a shower means after the kids go to bed and you can forget having time to put on a full face of makeup and ironed clothes before you leave the house. It's a constant balancing act with your partner, especially when you feel like the children are your "job," even if that means that your job is 24 hours long and his isn't. I could relate to moving to a new city and away from my parents, who still live in the house I grew up in to this day, and all of my friends.

I wish the day I was at the playground with my kids and someone asked me if I was pregnant when I wasn't, it would have had the same effect on me that it had on Lanie. I couldn't help but admire her for working to squeeze in the time for herself and for her dreams, for being willing to ask for help to make that happen.

Some things here are just a little too convenient, in order to make the story work. Lanie's parents suddenly sell her childhood home and move to Dubai, thus making it impossible for her mom to just hop a plan and come help. And some of it is predictable - of course Lanie's children were going to make a mess of her new friend's white house.

Because I know what to expect now with Center, it was easy to pick this one up at just the right time to read it. A quick, enjoyable read with a message worth listening to - beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and it is never too late to follow your dreams. Maybe I'll still go back to school and become a teacher!

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