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The Pretty One

A Novel
The Pretty One: A Novel. Hannacroix Creek. Feb. 2011. c.202p. ISBN 9781889262703. pap. $19.95. F
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If clinical psychologist Dr. Emily Taylor seems confident when she appears on a talk show to discuss her latest best seller, it is only on the surface. At age 50, she's struggling with an eating disorder, obsessed with food, eating compulsively, and bingeing when her routine is disrupted. Her TV appearance and a trip to Europe send her spiraling further out of control. In order to change her patterns of self-destruction, Emily finally must face her past, one of sexual abuse and feelings of neglect. However, there is no clear indication why she finally overcomes her eating issues, or whether she actually succeeds for good. It's also amazing that a woman who is an emotional mess and distant from her own family is a clinical psychologist. She's a self-centered character, with little appeal.
VERDICT Cold, unemotional, and lacking character development, this debut novel by the sociologist author of Friendshifts can't decide whether it's a self-help manual, a diary, or the story of a woman who succeeded despite herself. Not recommended.

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