21 December 2008

Outside Beauty; Cynthia Kadohata

Outside Beauty Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata


My review


rating: 4 of 5 stars
At first I thought this was going to be one of those books that Teaches a Lesson, but it turned out to be very sweet.

Four half-sisters, the daughters of a very beautiful mother, are used to having different fathers and different men around. Helen (mom) doesn't want to settle down, nor does she believe that men want anything more than the perfect, beautiful woman. When she is in a bad car accident, the girls are sent to live with their fathers - and it seems that Helen has no one "type" for men. The catalyst for the third act in the book is the fact that the youngest, Maddie, seems to have a really uptight, martinet father. So they run away but ultimately, they figure out a way to stay together, with one of the fathers.

I liked the relationships here, and the differences in the daughters rang true. It's also unclear as to why this was set in 1983, except that then it takes away the girls ability to communicate easily once they've been separated: no cells, no computers back then. I'm finding this happens often in books, and I'm not sure how students are reacting. There's no real reason to set it in the recent past, and the lack of modern technology seems a little jarring.

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