Picks and Pans Review: Everyone Is Beautiful

updated 03/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/16/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Katherine Center |

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REVIEWED BY BETH PERRY

NOVEL
A frazzled stay-at-home mom in Cambridge, Mass., Lanie Coates spends her days catering to a crayon-eating baby and two troublesome toddlers, one of whom can't stop biting his peers. "I suddenly wanted to be my old self again so badly," she realizes one night, "[that] my pillow got wet with tears." A mother's struggle to find the person she was before children is nothing new, yet perhaps that's part of this endearing book's charm. Everyone isn't a knockout, but it's unpretentious, silly and honest—which, Center reminds us, can be beautiful things too.

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