Friday, April 11, 2014

#BookReview: Stilettos & Stubble by Amanda Egan

The British have such interesting names. While we may think names like Finella or Jemima are dated, they happily embrace them. So it is that the lead character of Stilettos & Stubble is named Persephone.

Never one to be called petite, Percy is well aware that she’s a big girl. Big in stature and weight, her small framed mother never lets her forget for one minute that she’s not the dainty, well put together daughter that she had hoped for. With a mother like that, it’s no wonder that Percy’s the queen of low self-esteem.

Percy can’t manage to keep a job or a boyfriend for long. Both always start off so well. Then eventually, she gets the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech from employers or her latest boyfriend.
When a chance meeting with drag queen extraordinaire, Annie, results in an offer to handle administrative duties at her club, Percy reluctantly accepts the job. Annie is the first person in a long time to make Percy feel good about herself. And soon, she’s surrounded by a new family of people that love and celebrate her for who she is.

As I’ve found to be the case in most Amanda Egan books, the lead character doesn’t get on well with her mother. She creates mothers that tend to be domineering, unkind and self-centered. Another element that always shows up in her books is dogs, though Tabby in Tabby & Kat had a bird instead. The animals serve as a listening ear and comic relief.

An unlikely setting and unlikely characters and their interactions make for a delightful page turner. I loved Percy’s relationship with Tom and her socialite neighbor, and was equally fascinated by Percy’s downtrodden father’s relationship with one of the girls from the club. Egan delivers a great message about accepting people as they are, accepting yourself as you are, and not judging books (or people) by their covers.

Published: November 2012
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