Monday 8 April 2024

Book ~ "Everyone is Beautiful" (2009) Katherine Center

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Lanie's husband, Peter, is a musician and when they started having children, they decided it made sense financially for her to stay home and take care of them instead of continuing to work. They now have three sons with the oldest being three and it's a full-time job for her. The boys are constantly on the go so she's busy busy busy with no time for herself.

When Peter gets a job in Cambridge, MA, they make the long move from Texas. Lanie doesn't know anyone and she's lost the support of her parents who are still in Texas. She assumes she'll make friends with other young mothers but that doesn't happen ... she does reconnect with someone she went to high school with who seems to have the perfect young daughter. Lanie realizes she has lost herself and starts working on that ... she joins a gym and takes a photography course.

I've read a few books by this author and I wasn't crazy about this one. There was far too much minute-by-minute detail about her rambunctious undisciplined sons. I've never had children but their behaviour seemed exaggerated, especially considering she's a stay-at-home mom. 

I didn't find any of the characters likeable. Peter is the dad but because he works he expects Lanie to be responsible for their sons 100% of the time ... I thought he was a bad dad. But Lanie allows it so I was glad when she eventually takes a stand and joins the gym and takes the photography course (she had to fight with Peter to be able to). It got tiring hearing about how little money they had all the time, though. I thought Lanie's response to her mom's news that they were selling their house to move was childish ... Lanie and her brothers hadn't lived there in years. It's written in third person perspective in Lainie's voice.

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