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.
Katherine Center’s Everyone Is Beautiful is a hugely entertaining, poignant, and charming new novel about what happens after happily ever after: how a woman learns to fall in love with her husband–and her entire life–all over again.
About the Author
Katherine Center is the author of The Bright Side of Disaster. She graduated from Vassar College, where she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize, and received an MA in fiction from the University of Houston. She served as fiction co-editor for the literary magazine Gulf Coast, and her graduate thesis, Peepshow, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. A former freelance writer and teacher, she lives in Houston with her husband and two young children.
Praise for Everyone Is Beautiful…
“What a clear-eyed rendering of the grimy, exhausting, beautiful mess that is early motherhood! I laughed, winced in recognition, and cheered wholeheartedly (sometimes out loud) for Lanie as she struggles to learn how to love everyone enough and still give part of herself to herself.”
–Marisa de los Santos, author of Belong to Me
“If you like novels with happy endings that will remind you of childhood fairy tales, then Katherine Center’s Everyone is Beautiful is the perfect book . . . Bound to catch the sympathetic attention of women looking for stories of self-improvement on physical and emotional levels. This is a breezy read that glows, in part, because its characters bask in the sunny side of life.”—USA Today
“Endearing . . . Unpretentious, silly, and honest.”—People
“Katherine Center has written a novel that will strike a chord in the heart of any woman who has ever tried to raise small children . . . Center has a deft and humorous touch . . . Everyone is Beautiful will make you laugh out loud, even as you wince in recognition.”—Free Lance Star
“Part mommy lit, part chick lit and part red hot romance. Readers, especially new moms, will identify with the main character’s struggle to balance parental responsibility with adult needs and desires.”—The Examiner, Houston
“Lighthearted . . . In less deft hands, the horrors of the out-of-control Coates toddlers would resemble bad reality television, but Center’s breezy style invites the reader to commiserate, laughing all the way, with Lanie’s plight. Avoids the obvious cliches, while harkening pleasantly back to ‘50s-era motherhood humor classics like Jean Kerr’s Please Don’t Eat the Daisies.”—Kirkus
“Center takes a woman at her most vulnerable time and sets her on a journey to find herself without losing what she holds most dear in a superbly written novel filled with unique and resonant characters.”—Booklist
“Agreeable mom-lit … sparkling.”—Publishers Weekly
"Everyone is Beautiful is a loving and hilarious portrayal of motherhood and marriage. Katherine Center has a keen eye and a fresh take on the joys and pain of a new mother trying to do everything right, and to be everything to everybody. You will laugh and relate, weep and rejoice on Lanie's journey of self discovery. I highly recommend the trip!"—Adriana Trigiani, author of Very Valentine