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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packaging not to the novel's credit.
Yes, it *looks* like yet another swingin' single gal fic to be enjoyed while swilling cosmos at the bikini wax salon, but don't be fooled. It's actually the spirit of "The Group" being handed to us with a sugary coating we didn't ask for and don't need, because this is quite an excellent book. How I wish the publisher would give both novel and reader more...
Published on March 16 2004 by Carrie

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
If you're looking for a book to hold your attention for a few evenings, you found it. Last week I had back surgery and was looking for a book that would hold my attention in spite of being halfway knocked out by pain killers. I tried a few other books- each lulled me into a drug induced sleep- before finding Beautiful Bodies. This story of six friends who met years ago...
Published on May 27 2004 by Amy


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Packaging not to the novel's credit., March 16 2004
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
Yes, it *looks* like yet another swingin' single gal fic to be enjoyed while swilling cosmos at the bikini wax salon, but don't be fooled. It's actually the spirit of "The Group" being handed to us with a sugary coating we didn't ask for and don't need, because this is quite an excellent book. How I wish the publisher would give both novel and reader more credit than to dress this one up for drinks at the latest hip spot and make it hang out at the bar with Carrie Bradshaw and Bridget Jones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars REAL Women in their 30s in NYC, Jan. 26 2004
By 
momazon "cjd" (Astoria, NY USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
This is NOT "Sex and the City", it's far more complicated and real.
Six women are gathering at one's apartment to put on a baby shower for their mutual friend Claire, who has suddenly announced she is pregnant, without being married or any discernible male partner. All six met two decades ago at Theresa House, a residence for women who have come to New York to seeks their fortunes. In fact, Claire still lives there.
The others have gone out and sought their fortunes in other ways -- the strident Martha, with whom everyone else is still friend for the sake of tradition; Jessie, the hostess who has just found love with a man named Jesse as well, Nina, who is caring for her dying mother, Sue Carol, who left her cheating husband for the last time, and Lisbeth, an aging "wactress" (waitress/actress) frightened of not getting any good parts before she has even made it.
The group gathers as New York is predicted to be hit by "the storm of the century". As emotions run high, a similar storm is brewing at the party!!
Read this gem to find out what happens. I look forward to reading more by this great author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blissed Out with these Beautiful Bodies, Jan. 24 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
An absolute must-read. tells it like it is for women friends. The "little ripples" -- envy & love, laughs and wine. More bonding than YaYa Sisterhood...For women in 30s, 40s, it is On The Nose! Spot on! Deluscious, delish, the best dish! Curl up -- This is The best!
The sexual matter is lovely, in good taste, for a change.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahh, the dynamics of female friendships. . . ., Oct. 14 2003
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
This book took me a while to get into, but once I did, it was worth it. Beautiful Bodies chronicles the events of one night where 6 late-thirties women, friends since their first days in NY, meet up for a baby shower. Cunningham chooses to first introduce us to each of the women by writing about their separate journeys to the baby shower, and then observes what happens when the women meet up, one by one. But the book really doesn't get started until all of them are together.
I've read several books about female friendships, and, honestly, this book is one of the most accurate in describing how the relationships among female friends, particularly when there is more than two, can alternate between gentle, strenuous, compassionate, then explosive (not necessarily in that order) all in one evening. I totally saw myself and my friends in these characters, and loved how Cunningham expertly described the mood shifts as the evening progressed.
I'd recommend this to any woman, as long as they are not expecting a standard plot where everything is tied up in a neat bow at the end. Unlike most of my favorite reads these days, this book isn't perfect as a beach read -- I think it would be best enjoyed on a weekend night by yourself with a great dinner and a glass of wine.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, May 27 2004
By 
Amy (Silver Spring, MD) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
If you're looking for a book to hold your attention for a few evenings, you found it. Last week I had back surgery and was looking for a book that would hold my attention in spite of being halfway knocked out by pain killers. I tried a few other books- each lulled me into a drug induced sleep- before finding Beautiful Bodies. This story of six friends who met years ago while residing at the Theresa House in New York City and have maintained their friendships- in spite of growing apart- will entertain you from start to finish.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Written Account of City Women Friends, Dec 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
Even though there is a place for Sex and the City, I liked these six women better -- There is no falseness here. These women are smart, working women who have reconnected after years of fighting the odds in a big city. This is the first book I have read that shows the truthful conditions -- The women work hard , fight to hang on to their apartments, and are not being pursued by billionaires. This is the real deal -- they go for years without great sex, and have secrets that they ultimately can share only with their best friends. the writing is beautiful, too. I wept at the end, but laughed at the remarks and descriptions straight through. Devoured the book! The sex when it occurs is the most realistic that I have ever read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Sad Portrayal of Female Friendship, Dec 18 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
I'm surprised that so many people have written positively about this book. Cunningham takes on way too much, neglecting major details that could've enriched an otherwise bland, sad story of women in NY. True friends would never neglect sharing the significant details of their lives: a mastectomy, infertility, a parent's impending death. These women focus exclusively on adolescent concerns: their weight and men. How sad for them. This book made me appreciate my friends all the more!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Girls finish first, Nov. 21 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
...in this deliciously accurate and entertaining tale of six thirty plus women who gather on a snowbound Manhattan night. In vino veritas...Wine flows, the wind blows, and all the women break down and let their feelings show. I was moved to tears and shrieks of laughter. Could not stop gulping chapters! A winner!
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1.0 out of 5 stars What an unreal waste of time!, Nov. 2 2003
By 
Alicia White (Corbin, KY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
Lucky for me, I borrowed this from the library. how angry would I have been to have wasted money on this! What could have been an AMAZING story, falls flat, dead. ONE character out of the six MAIN characters has a MINIMAL resolution to her issues. The others have NONE. ZERO. One character--one of the more interesting characters in the book--has a big "secret" that we wait most of the book for her to reveal... and when she does... YAWN!
The character from Kentucky... pul-lease, did this woman do ANY research??? Be serious!
Martha, who by all standards, should have had some experience to teach her something valuable... no, she is unchanged.
Just a ridiculous waste of my time!
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3.0 out of 5 stars HUGE FLAW in the book, Oct. 29 2003
This review is from: Beautiful Bodies: A Novel (Paperback)
Cunningham has a character originally from Kentucky and yet she obviously couldn't be bothered to do any research whatsoever about the area. She doesn't have the dialect correct, nor any of the attributes she gave the area. She talked repeatedly about them eating fried dough--or crullers. This is NOT a Kentucky thing at all. I don't know where she got this from. The woman spoke of her home--Slocum Hollow. No, in Kentucky it's Holler. No one says Hollow there. Also, she says that in Kentucky everyone says, "Gettin' away with it." A.) This is not an expression particular to Kentucky and B.) If someone were saying it in that part of the country, they would say, "Getting' away with hit." It's frustrating that a publishing house, editor, and agent would all miss this serious faux pas. This woman was born and raised in New York City; her bio confirms it. Did no one think that perhaps she had no clue about Kentucky culture and speech?
Otherwise, the plot is fine, but it does drag at points. I felt like she was beating me over the head with certain points. I wanted to stand and scream, "I've got it! I've got it! Move on!"
Not a bad read, but there are so many more worthy books similar to this.
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Beautiful Bodies: A Novel
Beautiful Bodies: A Novel by Laura Shaine Cunningham (Paperback - March 1 2003)
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