Published by HarperCollins on January 27th 2015
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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.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Anna Wyatt is forty, divorced, and asking herself that age-old question: What’s missing? She’s surprised to find the inklings of an answer while attempting to impress her bosses by bringing in a client, with a new campaign for a decades-old product.
She’s even more surprised when her campaign takes her to Phoenix and a romance convention, along with a (surprise!) new assistant and a (potential) paramour.
I loved watching Anna’s transformation from someone who takes the licks and keeps on ticking, to someone who takes the bull by its horns because, by golly, it’s hers. It’s a long journey – physically and mentally – and one that has her accepting that it’s ok to question and push and go for what’s important to her. It’s ok to grab the laurels she deserves. It’s ok to admit to having baggage, and it’s ok to let that go, too.
Palmer’s backdrop of the convention was fun and entertaining, from the event themes and titles to the models vying for the cover win. Not that it’s all party and games, Palmer adds tension and drama in the guise of office politics and good-old-boys attitude, and a serious show of empowerment with a no-holds-barred motivational author-slash-speaker.
I loved the theme of Girl Before a Mirror, that we’re good enough to be who we want to be, we can achieve what we set out to achieve, and we’re brave enough to do it our way if the playing field’s stacked. We are more than our gender and our insecurities. We can be the hero(ine) in our story, we just have to accept that it’s ok to #JustBe. 😉
Not that Girl Before a Mirror‘s a perfect read. I didn’t like the hook-up (it felt cheap), and thought the male models were gratuitous (because it’s chick-lit). Also, it felt like Anna and Sasha (her assistant) were the only fleshed-out characters. Sure, Lincoln (the paramour) is a great “good guy”, and Helen (the author-slash-speaker) is a straight-talking mentor, but they’re not much more than means to an end. That the end is empowering self-realization is almost good enough to get me to stop complaining. 🙂
I liked Girl Before a Mirror enough to want to check out what else Liza Palmer has for me to inhale. Give this a whirl!
drey’s rating: Excellent!
Have you read Girl Before a Mirror? What did you think? And if you haven’t, read on to win your own copy!
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have one copy of Girl Before a Mirror for you. This one’s open to US residents only; no PO Boxes please. To enter, fill out the form below before February 16th. Good luck!