9780060780807

Changing Faces

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780060780807

  • ISBN10:

    0060780800

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-01-01
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Summary

Meet Whitney, Taylor, and Charisse, three women who have been best friends since high school. However, this devoted troika is about to discover a wave of unexpected troubles. Whitney is a plus-size woman who just can't turn down a box of Krispy Kremes or find a man who will stay put. Taylor is in a long-term relationship with a boyfriend who's allergic to commitment. Charisse is married, with two adorable children, but somehow doesn't have what she really wants-or needs. Then suddenly Charisse spins out of control. Her doormat husband manages to stand up to her and even threatens to go public with a very shady secret Charisse had hoped to keep hidden, especially from her interfering mother. Desperate, she decides that only a very risky scheme will save her. One constant for these women has been the support they've offered one another. But this time, how far can friendship go? In this witty, rollicking, deeply poignant story, Kimberla Lawson Roby demonstrates the storytelling magic that has won her legions of adoring fans and made her novels bestsellers.

Excerpts

Changing Faces

Chapter One

Whitney

My name is Whitney, and while it shames me to say it, I'm a compulsive overeater. I don't want to be, but that's just what I've been since I was a child and I can't seem to change it. Of course, I've tried changing my eating habits a great number of times, specifically over the last fifteen years, but none of my yo-yo dieting has ever worked—at least not for long. And believe me when I say that I've tried the very best of them, one right after another. Jenny Craig, Ornish, The Zone, Fit for Life, Slim-Fast, Herbalife, Atkins, and every other low-carb, no-carb, low-calorie weight-reduction fad on the planet. I've even gone as far as starving myself completely, which was actually working until that night I passed out in the middle of aerobics class. Good God, I must have been entirely out of my mind.

But insanity is not uncommon for women like me who are at least one hundred pounds heavier than they should be—women like me who spend every waking moment planning their next delicious meal and then promising themselves that they really will restart their diet this coming Monday. Sure, there are many overweight women who love themselves just the way they are and who walk around proudly with their heads held high, but most of us are not happy with the way we look. More importantly, we are not happy with the way we feel or the way some of us tend to be treated. Like the other day, when I was sitting at the mall in the food court section wolfing down a colossal meal from Taco Bell, and the couple sitting a few feet away looked over at me in disgust. They never said a word, but I knew immediately what they were thinking. They were wondering why I had the nerve to be eating anything at all, let alone two large burritos, a salad, and a large drink. I could read their minds as clear as day, and while I wanted to beg for their understanding, I never looked in their direction again. Instead, I pretended that they didn't even exist.

But actually, this was a huge part of my problem. I've always searched for acceptance from others and I have my "wonderfully loving" mother to thank for it. From the time I was eight, she was already criticizing the way I looked, the way I walked, the way I did anything. Nothing was ever good enough. She demanded perfection, but I never gave it to her. Tina, my younger sister, on the other hand, did whatever it took to make Mother happy, and Mother has always loved her more because of it. Mother had even slipped and told me so a few years back during an argument we were having, but now she denies ever saying it. Still, I know what I heard and it is the reason our relationship has been terribly strained ever since.

I drove my SUV onto I-94 West and immediately came to a complete stop. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper the same as always, and I couldn't help wondering why I did this every day. Obviously, I needed to work for a living, but why I drove all the way to downtown Chicago from Covington Park, the south suburb where I lived, didn't make much sense. Not when I could have easily taken the Metra train round-trip. But to be frank, I just didn't feel comfortable doing it. The Metra was nice enough, but for some reason I'd always had this weird phobia about traveling on anything relating to the rail system. Of course, no one understood it, but it was just who I was.

I continued on my journey and realized I was barely a few miles from the exit that would take me to my favorite Krispy Kreme location. Each day I fought tooth and nail trying hard not to go there, and sometimes I actually didn't. Sometimes I drove past the exit and even felt good about it, but it was always a major struggle.

I slowed my acceleration and waited for the flow of traffic to start up again. When I did, my phone rang.

I rolled my eyes toward the ceiling when I saw that it was my sister.

"Hello?" I said.

"Where are you?"

"In traffic, on my way to work. What's up with you?"

"Why on earth do you keep doing that?" she said, ignoring my question.

"Doing what, Tina?"

"Driving all the way downtown."

"I do it because this is a free country and because I want to."

"Whatever."

"Whatever is right. Now, did you want something in particular or were you just calling to harass me?"

"I'm calling for two reasons. Well, actually, three. First, I wanted to tell you that I got promoted yesterday to purchasing manager."

"Well, good for you. I know you've been wanting that to happen."

"I have, and it's going to pay me fifteen thousand more dollars a year. Then, on top of that, Riley Jackson asked me out. You know, that fine-as-wine anchorman on Channel Eight."

"That's nice."

"Nice? It's fabulous. He's a huge local celebrity and that means I'll be going to the best parties that Chicago has to offer."

I couldn't believe how shallow Tina was. She was so, so my mother and every bit as appalling.

"What's the third thing you wanted to tell me?" I hurried to say because I didn't want to hear any more of my sister's bragging.

"That I'm planning a surprise birthday party for Mother."

"Oh really? When?"

"Duh. On her birthday."

"I know, Tina. But on her birthday, near her birthday, when?"

"Her birthday falls on a Saturday this year, so that's when I'd like to do it."

"Actually, my twenty-year high school reunion is in November, but I didn't pay much attention to the date. I'll have to make sure it's not the same day."

Changing Faces. Copyright © by Kimberla Roby. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Changing Faces by Kimberla Lawson Roby
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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