Friday, July 17, 2015

I'm Not Her by Cara Sue Achterberg

I'm Not Her
by Cara Sue Achterberg

My rating: 4 stars

Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Publisher: The Story Plant
ISBN-13: 9781611882155
Genre: Women's fiction
Print Length: 302 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
It was a Tuesday like any other. And then it wasn't. A simple encounter at a supermarket changed Carin Fletcher's and Leann Cane's lives – literally. Suddenly Carin, a pretty, self-absorbed, underemployed college graduate, finds herself living as Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, obese checkout clerk, and vice versa.

Carin is at first horrified: she’s enormous, she can barely make ends meet, her husband is an abusive loser, and she's saddled with the kid Leann had when she was a teenager. Meanwhile, Leann is initially thrilled: she's escaped destitution, she looks like a model, and people treat her completely differently.

But as the days pass, it becomes clear that life isn't clear-cut for either woman. Carin finds herself attaching to Trevor, Leann's precocious son, and developing feelings for Jimmy, a fellow employee who treats her with the respect few others bother to give her because of her appearance. At the same time, Leann is living a life she's always wanted in a body she's always dreamed about, but that doesn't mean that all of her problems have gone away...and a new one is emerging with Carin's sometimes-boyfriend.

Both women are facing unknowable futures that neither could have imagined. Are they destined to live this way forever? And if so, where will it all lead?

A brilliant, nuanced, and surprising tale about the way the world sees us and the courses we are on, I'M NOT HER is a remarkably assured first novel that introduces a profound new storyteller.

I'm Not Her by Cara Sue Achterberg

I'm Not HerHave you heard the phrase, “Walk a mile in someone’s shoes?” How about, “Never judge a book by its cover?” What if some quirk of fate exchanges your essence, all that is you, with another?
Carin and Leann somehow exchange places after an accident. Carin, wealthy, beautiful and shallow becomes Leann, an obese, coarse young mother living a tragic life of poverty and abuse with her son’s father. Will people believe they are not who they appear to be? Will they both learn how shallow it is to judge others by their appearance or circumstance?

For Carin, this is a time of learning to give of herself, as opposed to always taking as young Trevor’s well-being becomes the focal point of her life. Always outspoken, she discovers that to survive, she must temper her comments, and accept the way others look at her unkempt and massive body.

For Leann, she discovers that the rich and beautiful do not have fairytale lives, but it is certainly better than what she was living, but she missed her son, discovered that maybe to give him up to the real care he is receiving from Carin may be the best thing. But is it for any of them?

I Am Not Her by Cara Sue Achterberg is a sometimes humorous, sometimes brutal look at lives that are different than our own. She focuses most of her tale on Carin in Leean’s body, the life Leean lives, the daily pain she endures, and lets Carin see just how low a human can be beaten down by their surroundings. Well written, sometimes light, sometimes frightening, but always intriguing, this bird’s eye view of two lives intertwined among millions is certainly food for thought, especially when one walks a mile in another's shoes.

I received this copy of this book from The Story Plant in exchange for my honest review.


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