Saturday, February 07, 2009
Age Before Beauty: My Review
I started Age Before Beauty last night and was really enjoying it. It is a funny book about an independent, career-oriented young woman who has just had her first baby. As the end of her maternity leave draws near she starts to dread missing this special time with her baby. Her first post-baby outing is with her sister to one of those sales parties. While there she gets the brilliant idea of selling that stuff rather than going back to her office job. When she gets home from the party, her mother-in-law, who she despises (the feeling is mutual) is there -- she has just moved out because she feels unappreciated and unloved.
The first half of the book is very real, and funny at times. For example: "Allie whirled, shock coursing up her spine, her mouth hanging open. Then her grip on Joanie tightened. This was no girlfriend, no affair. It was much worse. Staring at her from just inside her kitchen stood the only person in the world who hated her guts. And the feeling was definitely mutual. Her Mother-in-law." We find out later that the "hatred" was a misunderstanding by a harried bride, but....
We follow Allie into the world of party sales and multi-level marketing. We learn why she is determined to rely on herself and why her husband hates churches. This story had a lot of potential. It just never quite reached it. It wasn't a bad book, the second half just didn't finish what the first half started.
This week's Faith n'Fiction Saturday talks about the purpose of Christian fiction and the author of this book obviously thinks it is to make a very clear point about God being the answer to your problems. After a couple of stray references to Allie's sister's Christian faith and that of her boyfriend in the first half of the book; the second half becomes more definitely Christian. Allie and her husband rediscover the faiths of their childhood, and after that everything ties up neatly in a bow. It is a sweet book, but I found the ending kind of forced and unrealistic.
First Wildcard is touring this book February 23. Check back then to read the first chapter, and if I get time, I'll link to other reviews.
Question for discussion: When you had your first baby, did your plans about whether or not you'd return to work change between the time you left work and the time you were supposed to go back? Did your feelings change, even if your plans didn't?