'I'm not the girl men choose. I'm the girl who's charming and funny and then drives home alone wondering what she did wrong. I'm the girl who meets someone half-way decent and then fills in the gaps in his character with my own imagination, only to be shocked when he's not the man I thought he was. I'm the girl who hides who she really is...' Frannie has spent her life disguising who she really is for fear of falling short of other people's expectations. And when she meets her new boss, Frannie can't help but wish she was just a bit more like her. Because Emma has it all: the job, the lifestyle, the happy marriage... even the perfect dog. But everything is not as it seems. And Frannie's about to find out - in the hardest way possible - that chasing perfection isn't necessarily the route to the happy life that she's always imagined it to be.
Chick lit favorite Palmer (Seeing Me Naked) dips into darker territory with her latest. Private school speech therapist Frannie's most recent breakup opens her mind to the possibility that her romantic failures are due to a "fear that my defenseless heart and my unconditional love are a burden no one wants." Frannie's burgeoning confidence leads her to start a relationship with Sam, an "out of my league" architect working at the school. The novel takes a strange turn when the new headmistress's controlling husband kills his wife on campus during a faculty gathering at which Sam, Frannie, and her friends are present. While the drama of the incident propels all the characters to honest reflection and action, the second half of the book suffers as the incompatible tones of the two story lines grate against each other. Nonetheless, Palmer's dialogue is reliably natural and funny, and her insights into the way women betray their true selves in search of acceptance are keen and honest.