Published by William Morrow on January 7th 2015
The author of Conversations with a Fat Girl—optioned for HBO—returns with the hilarious and heartfelt story of a woman who must learn how to be the heroine of her own life-a journey that will teach her priceless lessons about love, friendship, family, work, and her own heart
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.
Never have I read a book that was so gloriously positive and empowering towards women and female friendships. I have never felt so passionate about a book and its importance and just want to walk around yelling “read it, read it, read it, I tell you, read it!!!”
A book about a woman’s journey to accepting herself for who she is and learning to just be. Anna has just turned forty, recently divorced; she’s at a crossroads in her relationships, her career and her life. When she comes across a self-help book that is all about finding your inner heroine, she realises she can use its advice in landing a major account. Teaming up with younger colleague Sasha, Anna discovers throughout her endeavours that friendship, love and support are real possibilities even when life doesn’t go according to plan.
The friendship between Anna and Sasha was by far my favourite part of the book. I loved how Palmer subverted the usual trope of pitting women against each other and showed (quite rightly) how supportive and vital such friendships are. Equally the mentorship between the author Helen and Anna was a joy to watch unfold as Helen advised Anna on how to take the plunge and believe in her strengths.
The weakest part of the book for me was the romance. In a book that focuses so much on the female aspects; it was almost an unwelcome distraction when Anna’s paramour Lincoln was introduced. It felt a little clumpy and muddled compared to the easy flow of the rest of the book.
This book tackles so many important issues from self-belief, empowerment, sexism, career satisfaction, and addiction and family relationships and does so in a warm, witty way that engages the reader from start to finish.
I adored this book so much and cannot stress how important it is to give yourself a gift and read it as I truly believe every woman can identify wholeheartedly with the issues and feelings raised in this book (and male readers will enjoy it too lol).
Beautifully written, with relatable characters, and a story that will stir emotions within, GIRL BEFORE A MIRROR is one not to be missed.