Everyone Is Beautiful A Novel

  • ISBN13:


  • ISBN10:


  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2021-05-04
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books

Note: Supplemental materials are not guaranteed with Rental or Used book purchases.

Purchase Benefits

  • Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping On Orders Over $35!
    Your order must be $35 or more to qualify for free economy shipping. Bulk sales, PO's, Marketplace items, eBooks and apparel do not qualify for this offer.
  • Logo Get Rewarded for Ordering Your Textbooks! Enroll Now
List Price: $17.00 Save up to $5.10
  • Rent Book $11.90
    Add to Cart Free Shipping Icon Free Shipping

    *This item is part of an exclusive publisher rental program and requires an additional convenience fee. This fee will be reflected in the shopping cart.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Lanie Coates's life is spinning out of control. She's piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in the Northeast. She's left behind family, friends, and a comfortable lifeall so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too. If only she could remember what they were. These days, Lanie always seems to rank herself dead lastand when another mom accidentally criticizes her appearance, it's the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she's willing to count since the day she said "I do," Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It's time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood capsized her entire existence. Lanie sets change in motionjoining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. In the end, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process. Katherine Center's Everyone Is Beautiful is a hugely entertaining, poignant, and charming new novel about what happens after happily ever after: how a woman learns to fall in love with her husbandand her entire lifeall over again. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Katherine Center is the author of The Bright Side of Disaster. She graduated from Vassar College, where she won the Vassar College Fiction Prize, and received an MA in fiction from the University of Houston. She served as fiction co-editor for the literary magazine Gulf Coast, and her graduate thesis, Peepshow, a collection of stories, was a finalist for the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction. A former freelance writer and teacher, she lives in Houston with her husband and two young children.

From the Hardcover edition.


The day I decided to change my life, I was wearing sweatpants and an old oxford of Peter’s with a coffee stain down the front. I hadn’t showered because the whole family had slept in one motel room the night before, and it was all we could do to get back on the road without someone dropping the remote in the toilet or pooping on the floor.

We had just driven across the country to start Peter’s new job. Houston,
Texas, to Cambridge, Massachusetts. I’d had the kids in our tenyear-
old Subaru the whole drive, two car seats and a booster across the
back. Alexander kept taking Toby’s string cheese, and the baby, except
when he was sleeping, was fussing. Peter drove the U-Haul on the theory
that if it broke, he ’d know how to fix it.

On the road, I was sure I had the short end of the stick, especially
during the dog hours of Tennessee. But now Peter was hauling all our
belongings up three flights of narrow stairs, and I was at the park, on a
blanket in the late-afternoon shade, breast-feeding Baby Sam. Peter had
to be hurting. Even with our new landlord helping him, it was taking all
day. And I was just waiting for him to call on the cell phone when he was
ready for us to come home. Or as close to home as a curtainless apartment
stacked high with boxes could be.

We ’d been at the park since midmorning, and we were running low on snacks. Alexander and Toby were galloping at top speed, as they always did. I’m not even sure they realized they were in a new park. They acted like we might as well have been at home, in Houston, the only place they’d ever lived. They acted like the last five days of driving hadn’t even registered. I, in contrast, was aching with loss.

I didn’t like this park. Too clean, too brand-new, too perfect. The
parks at home had character—monkey bars fashioned like cowboys,
gnarled crape myrtle trunks for climbing, discarded Big Wheels with no
seats. And we’d known them backward and forward—every tree knot,
every mud hole, every kid.

This park, today, felt forced. It was trying too hard.

I surveyed the moms. Not one of them, I decided, was a person I
wanted to meet. And just as I was disliking them all and even starting to
pity them for having no idea what they were missing, park-wise, Toby—
my middle boy, my sandy-haired, blue-eyed, two-year-old flirt—watched
a younger kid make a move for the truck in his hand, and then, unbelievably, grabbed that kid’s forearm and bit it.

The little boy screamed as Toby pulled the truck to his chest. “My
truck!” Toby shouted. (He always pronounced “truck” like “fuck,” but
that was, perhaps, another issue.)

And then, of course, all hell broke loose.

I jumped up, startling the baby out of a nap and off my boob. I ran
across the park, wailing baby on my shoulder, shirt unbuttoned, shouting,
“Toby! No!” Toby saw my horrified face and instantly started to
cry himself—though he was no match for the little kid he ’d bitten, who
was now screaming like he was on fire. His mother, too, had sprinted
from her perch, dropping her purse on the way, and was now holding
him as if he’d been shot. “Is it bleeding?” she kept asking the boy. “Is it

It was clearly not bleeding. Isn’t that the number one rule of parenting?
Don’t Make Things Worse?

All the other parents, meanwhile, had gathered around us to see what
the heck was going on. My shirt was hanging open, the baby was still
shrieking, and I remembered from one of those parenting books I used to
read—back when I used to do that type of thing—that when a child bites,
the parent of the biter must give attention to the bitee. I turned toward the

Excerpted from Everyone Is Beautiful: A Novel by Katherine Center
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.

Rewards Program

Write a Review