Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

  • Girl Before a Mirror (Jan27)VineTitle:  Girl Before a Mirror
  • Author:  Liza Palmer
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  January 27, 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book–Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero–that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign–and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life–she’ll win the account. 

For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control. 

To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be–she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.  (publisher)

My take:  I so enjoyed this novel about a woman’s journey to accepting herself for who she really is – not the person she thought she should strive to be in order to be accepted by others (her parents, professors, boss, etc.). Liza Palmer’s story is funny, heartbreaking, poignant, and ultimately uplifting. I think many women will relate to some aspect of Anna’s personal life or career issues. I found her likable and sympathized with her struggles.

I love the way Palmer tells a story and she didn’t disappoint with Girl Before a Mirror. I liked it all. From Anna’s cheerful colleague, Sasha, to Lincoln, the dashing hero, to Helen, the encouraging and inspiring mentor – they all combined to help Anna figure things out. It’s an entertaining novel that I’ll recommend to friends.

Treadmill Reads: Conversations With the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

Conversations with the fat girl

Synopsis (Goodreads) Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives except Maggie. At 27, she’s still working at the local coffee house while her friends are getting married, having babies, and building careers. Even Olivia, Maggie’s best friend from childhood, is getting married to her doctor boyfriend. Maggie, on the other hand, lives with her dog Solo and has no romantic prospects save for the torch she carries for Domenic, the busboy. Though Maggie and Olivia have been best friends since their fattie grade school years, Olivia’s since gone the gastric-bypass surgery route in hopes of obtaining the elusive size two, the holy grail for fat girls everywhere. So now Olivia’s thin, blond, and betrothed, and Maggie’s the fat bridesmaid. Ain’t life grand? In this inspiring debut novel, Maggie speaks to women everywhere who wish for just once that they could forget about their weight.

My take:   Maggie is every young woman who ever fought the weight battle – every young woman who has never felt comfortable with her body. I understood Maggie and I cheered for her as she started to figure things out with her best friend, her love life, and her job situation.

Conversations With the Fat Girl is filled with interesting characters. From Maggie’s family to her co-workers it was easy to find comparable characters in my own life. I liked most and understood the reason for them all. This is a novel begging to be on the small or large screen. Thank you Liza Palmer for writing Maggie’s story. Once upon a time I was in her shoes.

There’s a reader’s guide included and you can find more information about the author here. I’m looking forward to reading Ms. Palmer’s other books.

  • Title:  Conversations With the Fat Girl
  • Author:  Liza Palmer
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  September 2005 – 5 Spot
  • Source:  I bought it