|(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)|
Winner of an IPPY award – bronze in popular fiction
When twenty-two year old Marla finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she wishes for a family, but faces precariousness: an uncertain future with her talented, exacting boyfriend, Liam; constant danger from her roommate, Dani, a sometime prostitute and entrenched drug addict; and the unannounced but overwhelming needs of her younger brother, Gavin, whom she has brought home for the first time from deaf school. Forcing her hand is Marla’s fetal alcohol syndrome, which sets her apart but also carries her through. When Marla loses her job and breaks her arm in a car accident, Liam asks her to marry him. It’s what she’s been waiting for: a chance to leave Dani, but Dani doesn’t take no for an answer. Marla stays strong when her mother shows up drunk, creates her own terms when Dani publicly shames her, and then falls apart when Gavin attempts suicide. It rains, and then pours, and when the Bow River finally overflows, flooding Marla’s entire neighbourhood, she is ready to admit that she wants more for her child than she can possibly give right now. Marla’s courage to ask for help and keep her mind open transforms everyone around her, cementing her relationships and proving to those who had doubted her that having a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder does not make a person any less noble, wise or caring.
“Wonderful, heartfelt, heartbreaking–I can’t recommend this novel highly enough.” –Annabel Lyon
“Jennifer Spruit has such a distinct, poignant voice, and her brilliant debut novel A Handbook for Beautiful People highlights this perfectly. Through sharp characters and their complications, a driven narrative develops, enveloping us before we have a chance to judge. Jump into this novel. It will sweep you up.” –Joseph Boyden
Love, love, love!! This book was an absolute treat to read!
A Handbook For Beautiful People is a wonderful story about love, complicated relationships, and the ever changing narrative of life. The writing is fantastic! Rich details and a strong narrative that carries the story forward in such an open and intriguing manner; this book will have you turning pages faster and faster in order to find out what will happen next. As for the characters themselves - unforgettable! You can't help but fall in deep with this diverse and fascinating cast who are overwhelmed by one drama and after another. I just LOVED getting to know Marla and wondering how she would figure out how to handle everything and anything that life seemed to be throwing at her in a given moment. Such a terrific character! Overall, this book was such a great read - I really enjoyed getting lost in it.
I would happily recommend A Handbook For Beautiful People to anyone and everyone looking for their next read - you will LOVE this book!!
Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: A Handbook For Beautiful People