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God Don't Like Ugly [Mass Market Paperback]

Mary Monroe
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Annette Goode, born in the racist South of the 1950s, is the heroine of Monroe's strong second novel (after The Upper Room), a coming-of-age journey depicted with wit, poignancy and bite. Up until 1963, when 13-year-old, overweight Annette Goode meets beautiful Rhoda Nelson, only daughter of the Richland, Ohio, town undertaker, Annette's life has been a nightmare. After Annette's father left her mother (Muh'Dear) for a white woman, Muh'Dear has scraped by as a domestic, stealing leftover food from her employers' kitchens; Annette overeats to compensate for her father's abandonment. Annette is only seven when she asks their boarder, Mr. Boatwright, to be her daddy. Soon after, he begins raping her. Annette, who considers herself fat and ugly, endures silently, thinking no one will believe her. She suffers the attacks for years until Rhoda befriends her and decides the man must be stopped. Monroe's characters are well drawn, full-bodied and not all bad. Monroe paints sympathetic portraits of Judge Lawson, the honorable white man Muh'Dear works for; Mr. Nelson, the undertaker; Scary Mary, who runs a brothel but has a good heart; and Pee Wee, Annette's young gay friend. However, it is the convincingly depicted friendship between Annette and Rhoda that drives the narrative and gives Annette the courage to end her abuse. In using a young girl's innocent voice to narrate, Monroe recounts a tale of extreme hardship with a hopeful, uplifting tone. Some readers will find the characters more enjoyable than the plot, which occasionally lapses into predictable melodrama, but readers of contemporary African-American literature will discover a highly satisfying page turnerDand one that will stand out on bookstore shelves with its bold, purple-hued cover. (Oct.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars "Ought to be required reading in schools" June 18 2004
Format:Paperback
I started reading GOD DON'T LIKE UGLY on a Monday night, read past midnight. The next night, after everyone had gone to sleep, I'd run to the book to see if Annette was in danger. She had become a dear friend by Chapter 1; had to see her through. By Thursday I couldn't wait for evening...so I stayed in my room during the day, finished the book, and sighed a big one for sweet Annette. What a story teller Ms. Monroe is! She deserves the Pulitzer Prize. The powerful voice/messages of GOD DON'T LIKE UGLY reminded me of TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Read Toni Morrison or Maya Angelo instead June 24 2004
By Karen K
Format:Paperback
I read this because the author was likened to Maya Angelo and Toni Morrison. They each wrote a book dealing with a young African American girl being raped ("I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" and "The Bluest Eye", respectively). It is not an insult when I say that Mary Monroe is no Toni Morrison--no one else is. Only one artist is Leonardo da Vinci. "The Bluest Eye" was Toni Morrison's first book, and although she has implied that it is her weakest, it is a much more powerful book than "God Don't Like Ugly." If you like this book, then you should read "The Bluest Eye." Maya Angelo's book "I know Why the Cged Bird Sings" is also a beautifully written classic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Missed opportunity!...and that was ugly. April 9 2004
Format:Paperback
I personally love reading books that take place in the South in the early to mid 1900's of the African American experience. There's just something about it that I find so humbling. This book may not be for everyone as it really touches on the subject of child sexual abuse. The description was quite ronchi I didn't expect all that. The book was good but also frustrating. I'm disappointed that the author did not take the opportunity with this book to "out" the abuser. Instead she chose to keep the crime a secret and the shame remained on the victim. A huge aspect of this book was also on friendship. The development of the friendship was really nice, makes you remember that best friend you might have had back the school days. Good times:) the book ended with (once again!) some over the top drama. (...) I'm hoping that in the sequel, the secret of the crime will finally be revealed.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time Reading March 19 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found the book to be utterly boring, and completely unbelievable. I don't recommend this book for readers that enjoy reading. The title leads you to believe the book will be good. The characters are believable to an extent, but Rhoda and her family was completely unrealistic. A black man good friends with a wealthy Italian in the 1960's? Yeah right. I don't care if they were middle class blacks or not. And Annette as far as a friend to Rhoda was absolutely ridiculous. They had nothing in common. The entire storyline was corny.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read Feb. 16 2004
Format:Paperback
Once you get over some of the "shocking" parts the book is a good read. Deals with being strong, self esteem, goals, secrets, find love within self, and growing up. We get to see Annette as a young person, and flower to adulthood. You will cry with her, scream at her, and want to hug her. The book was really good. Plan to read the second book ASAP.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Slow, but what an ending! Feb. 12 2004
Format:Paperback
This was a very good book and highly recommnend it to all! Maybe there was too much detail, but a was totally surprised. Also glad that the heroin was a plus size woman!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Award Winner!!! Dec 4 2003
Format:Paperback
I saw this book every time I went to the bookstore, but was reluctant to buy it, being that I had never heard of Mary Monroe. Also no one I knew had read it. After seeing 'God still don't like ugly' I decided to take the plunge! I am so glad I did. I really appreciate Ms. Monroe's writing style and the depth of her characters. I like that although Annette was abused, she was not portrayed as dumb and helpless. And even after forming a bond with Rhoda, Annette knew when to let go of her coat tail, and stand alone. I would recommend this story of abuse,friendship, and secrecy to anyone who appreciates a good novel. I enjoyed reading this book and was sad when it ended. The only good thing about it is... now I can read 'God still don't like Ugly"!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD READ!!!! Oct. 22 2003
By keyan
Format:Paperback
I LIKED THIS BOOK, ALTHOUGH I HATED TO READ ABOUT THE TRAGEDIES THAT ANNETTE SUFFERED THROUGH AS A CHILD. WHAT DOES NOT KILL YOU MAKES YOU STRONGER AND THAT IS EXACTLLY WHAT IT DID WITH ANNETTE. IT ALSO HELPED THAT SHE HAD THE SHOULDER OF HER BEST FRIEND, RHODA, TO LEAN ON. THEY STUCK TOGETHER WHEN THEY NEEDED EACHOTHER THE MOST. THIS BOOK HAS IT'S SHARE OF DRAMA AND IT KEEPS YOUR ATTENTION WONDERING WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!!! THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER THINGS THAT HAPPEN THAT YOU HAVE TO READ IT TO FIND OUT!!!!!
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