Friday, April 27, 2012

Book Review: More Like Her

I absolutely loved Liza Palmer's Conversations with a Fat Girl, so I was excited to get a chance to review More Like Her. First off, I have to say that the blurb on the back of the book threw me off. It didn't really reflect the essence of the novel, making it sound more about "what goes on behind white picket fences" and less about the main character, Franny.

The novel really is about Frances and her journey to self-discovery. The character Emma, who is murdered by her crazy husband, is lightly drawn, as are Franny's two friends, Lisa and Jill. And that's absolutely fine, because Frances is a fantastic character. As I recall from her Conversations, Palmer has an uncanny ability to capture the thoughts and insecurities we probably all have at times. How do I measure up? Why can't I be more like so-and-so? Am I flawed and abnormal? Why is this all so easy for everyone else?

Franny has spent a lifetime putting up walls, and as events unfold, she understands that she has to start allowing her real self to be shown. But as she says, "Freedom, with all its possibilities, just feels cold and lonely. I want to go back to my tower. I need those walls. I need the protection."

You know how it is when you discover something about yourself that is obvious to others but not to you. You kind of want to shove it back down, but you know you need to look it in the face. So often our self-perception is just warped, sometimes we just have quirks that need tweaked. This novel is really about self-revelation—and choices. Knowing what to keep and what to discard, what to refine and what to tear down.

Liza Palmer is chick lit without the fluff and feathers. She knows real people. Her characters are people we know—are us— and they talk like real people, too. If you haven't read her, check her out!

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