Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feel-Good Book for Oldyweds

I need a feel-good book in February, and this one did the job starting with the title: Everyone Is Beautiful. As a bonus, the cover has a picture of an iced chocolate cupcake. The author, Katherine Center, has apparently been getting attention from the mommyblogs, but she deserves some from book bloggers, too, before the novel comes out on Feb. 17, because not only is the description of dealing with small children realistic, but the novel is well-written and wry and it earns its title and its happy ending, much like you have to earn the benefits of a long-lasting marriage.

There were bits that I had to read out loud to Ron, most notably the comment when a woman asks another woman "when are you due," not realizing that she's 10 months postpartum:

"Here is my policy on that question: Don't ever ask it. Even if you're talking to a woman who is clearly about to have quintuplets. Just don't ask. Because if you're wrong, you've just said one of the most horrible things you can say to a woman. If you're wrong, you've ruined her week--possibly her month and even her year. If you're wrong, she will go home and cry, and not even be able to tell her husband what she's crying about. He'll ask over and over as she lies face-down on their bed, and she'll have no choice but to say "It's nothing," and then, "Please, just leave me alone."

I wouldn't want my husband to think that I could be that shallow and silly. Would you?

10 comments:

KD said...

Sorry, Jeanne. I'm pretty sure that my husband already knows that I can be that shallow and silly. If someone asks me in 6 months when I'm due and I have to say that the baby was born almost 10 months ago, Joe will already expect me to brood over it after I laugh at it. (Or vice versa. There's no knowing.)

But I might have to put this book on my "ha! someday" list.

Maybe I should get that library card today, eh?

paj said...

This is a question that should never be asked. And not just because of the hurt feelings of the person who was asked. Just last week a friend was recounting how she asked this question of a nonpregnant woman. The incident happened YEARS ago, and my friend still feels horrible about it. There was no humor in her account, just how mortified she was that she had inadvertently said something so hurtful. Her current policy: you can tell, but I'll never ask!

Hugh said...

Did you know that her husband is a Kenyon alum (my class of '91)?

Jeanne said...

Hugh, No, I had no idea. Is that why you had the ARC?

katherinecenter said...

Howdy Jeanne! This is such a great review! I'm so glad to see that you liked the book! And yes--my husband went to Kenyon ('91), and my sister did, too ('97). I have been to Kenyon many, many times. What a great place! Many thanks again for your kind words--and best wishes!

Andrew Santella said...

My first time here, but let me ask: Is there an equivalent Question You Should Never Ask a Man?

Jeanne said...

Andrew: Well, there's the traditional "do you still beat your wife?"

greeneyedsiren said...

Mr. Unfocused knows full well exactly how shallow and silly I can be (actually, I considered going with "the depths of my shallowness" but then thought maybe that was too self-contradictory a statement). But I don't think it's very shallow to feel upset about a comment like that, just human. I've been there, and it's pretty hurtful, and it echoes for a long time.

Matt said...

Sometimes we all need a feel good book to let our brain relax. I'll need one soon after a month full of Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, and Zora Neale Hurston.

Wendi B. - Wendi's Book Corner ~ Rainy Day Reads in Seattle said...

Thanks for stopping by my review! I've added a link to your review on mine. :)

~ Wendi