Outside Beauty: Book summary and reviews of Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata

Outside Beauty

By Cynthia Kadohata

Outside Beauty
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2008,
    272 pages.
    Age range: Young Adult


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Book Summary

"My mother had four daughters by four different men."

There's only one way Shelby and her sisters can describe their mother: She's a sexpot. Helen Kimura collects men (and loans, spending money, and gifts of all kinds) from all over the country. Sure, she's not your typical role model, but she's also not just a pretty face and nail polish. She is confident and brave; she lives life on her own terms, and her four daughters simply adore her. These girls have been raised outside the traditional boundaries. They know how to take the back exit. They know how to dodge crazed lovers in highway car chases. They do not, however, know how to function without one another.

Then suddenly they must. A late-night phone call unexpectedly shreds the family apart, catapulting the girls across the country to live with their respective fathers. But these strong-willed sisters are, like their mother, determined to live life on their own terms, and what they do to pull their family back together is nothing short of beautiful.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Realistic or not, two important truths underlie this quirky and disarming tale: Tolstoy was wrong; not all happy families are alike. And, if it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Kirkus Reviews, ages 12+

"Starred Review. Newbery Medalist Kadohata's (Kira-Kira) gifts for creating and containing drama and for careful definition of character prove as powerful as ever in this wise, tender and compelling novel." - Publishers Weekly.

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Author Information

Cynthia Kadohata Author Biography

Cynthia Kadohata has been writing since 1982. When she was 25 and completely directionless, she took a Greyhound bus trip up the West Coast, and then down through the South and Southwest. She met people she never would have met otherwise. It was during that bus trip, which lasted a month, that she rediscovered in the landscape the magic she'd known as a child. Though she had never considered writing fiction before, the next year she decided to begin. She sent one story out every month, and about forty-eight stories later, The New Yorker took one. She now lives in California.

In her own words.....

Family Background: My father's parents married in Japan and immigrated in the early 1920s to the United States, where they became tenant farmers near Costa Mesa, California. ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Cynthia Kadohata: ca-do-HAR-ta

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