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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Pleased, May 20 2003
By 
ROSEMARY CUNNINGHAM (CORVALLIS, OREGON USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pretty Is As Pretty Does: A Novel (Paperback)
Instead of Eudora Welty's "Why I live at the P.O.," it could very well be Alison Clement's "Why I'm Leaving Palmyra." In a running first person dialogue, Palmyra resident, Lucy Fooshee, describes small town life from a very subjective point of view. While Lucy tells the story, her own blatant character flaws are humorously exposed.
As a result, we seem to enjoy loving or hating the vain, self-absorbed Lucy. Our strong reactions indicate that the main character has enough depth to actively engage the reader. By the end of the book, defenders of Lucy Fooshee are pleased to discover there are hints of her maturity on the horizon. Who knows? Perhaps someday Fooshee fans will find out if there's life for Lucy AFTER Palmyra.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Is As Pretty Does, May 17 2003
By 
Laura Berger (Madison, WI USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pretty Is As Pretty Does: A Novel (Paperback)
I read this book when it first came out in hardcover and I recently saw it in the bookstore in paperback. I love the cover! The hunky picture of Billy Lee will tickle your ovaries as you nod to yourself reading of Lucy Fooshee's predicament. Yes, her good looks and unruly passions have driven her life's actions. Her passionately ambitious ego needed to find a way for her to
shine amidst the humdrum predictability of the small town into which she was born and raised. Was she unconciously programmed to create the train wreck we could see coming for many chapters? Her life was not about the intellect or reason. She was not remotely sensible. She drove me crazy! My inner mantra as I read was "Don't do it! Don't do it!" It became hard to turn the page. But that was the fun of it, watching my own reaction to this woman who catches sexual fire and refuses to douse the flames. Then comes the power of transformation that probably required the train wreck to occur. I wonder if we can hope for a sequel with the new awakened Lucy. We get only a taste of her and I suspect those passions will continue to express themselves in new hopefully less destructive ways, but I'd like to know.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Teen Queen Grows Up, May 10 2003
By 
Tamara Taylor (Sanger, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pretty Is As Pretty Does: A Novel (Paperback)
Lucy Fooshee (Foo-SHAY, from the French she reminds us) is a teen beauty queen who had followed the conventions that she took in with her momma's milk and that have been reinforced by all of her experiences -- until she meets Billy Lee, an outsider in her small midwestern hometown.
In her own voice, Lucy documents her history, her situation, her perceptions and unwittingly her self-discoveries.
The story of Lucy Fooshee is readably colloquial and at times uncannily familiar! Any woman who has grown up in a small town will identify with Lucy's dilemma; in fact, anyone who has grown up will cheer Lucy on!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing women, Feb. 6 2003
By 
tturner (Los Angeles CA USA) - See all my reviews
The story is about a hoocker that falls in love with a rich guy.The genre of this book is fiction.[Isabel Hernandez]
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great read!, May 19 2002
By 
I really enjoyed this book and hated to see it end. I absolutely love the writers style. It is a easy read with great flow. I look forward to more books by Allison Clement. Try it you won't be disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A bravura performance, May 14 2002
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Allison Clements pulls off an amazing feat in her debut novel. She creates a character who is vain, selfish, and not particularly self-aware, lets her tell her story in the first person, and makes us cheer for her!
Even as some very predictable plot points come along, when the reader knows exactly what's going to happen and knows it will happen because of the character's flaws, we still hold our breath and hope it somehow will come out all right.
There's a lot of small town stuff that rings true in this amazing novel, and there's a great twist at the end that the reader WILL NOT see coming. There's also a sort of timelessness. Clements has carefully not cemented the story into a specific time or decade, so we can all feel as if it's part of our own life.
In the end, it's not about whether Lucy can get together with Billy Lee. It's about whether she will find out who SHE is. That journey turns out to be incredibly entertaining. This is a perfect summer book. A lot of fun and a great read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Smacks of Eudora Welty!, April 24 2002
By A Customer
This is a wonderful book. A wise, observant story, heart wrenching, but funny. The main character is a young woman who, as the story begins, is an absolute narcissist. She is not an easy character to like but we find outselves on her side anyway.
This is a high spirited, sexy book. The writing smacks of Eudora Welty (not the sexy part) and you can't give a bigger compliment than that.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best I've ever read, April 22 2002
By A Customer
"Pretty is...." was pretty decent. I picked it up simply because the girl was from "Palmyra." I can honestly say...some of those people in the book really got on my nerves. But.....Lucy reaped what she sowed and they all went down because of it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Vernacular Writing at Its Best!, April 6 2002
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I highly recommend this book. It's vernacular writing creates an aura of in-your-face honesty. The flawed heroine is Lucy Fooshee, a former beauty queen from a small town in southern Illinois. She's spunky, brash and often hilarious, sporting her tiara and pouty lips with pride. Lucy stops at nothing to win the heart of the best looking man in town, even though she's been married to someone else for only two weeks.
In this book, Ms. Clement captures the rhythm of small town life, complete with elements of sexism, racism and class. But this book is no stuffy morality tale. The words fly off the page, providing the reader with passion, longing and lots of laughter.
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4.0 out of 5 stars and beauty is only skin deep..., Feb. 12 2002
By A Customer
You begin in a suffocatingly hot greasy spoon and end up in a cadillac with the wind in your hair. I liked Lucy Fooshee from the start; sure she's too aware of her beauty and physical perfection, but she starts learning right away and who can fault a girl like that?
Two things about this book are fantastic. First, the first-person, present-tense style is engaging, so much so that you feel like Lucy herself. And second, you don't get your stomach in an uproar with any shockingly grotesque events in the end a la Hamilton's Book of Ruth.
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Pretty Is As Pretty Does: A Novel
Pretty Is As Pretty Does: A Novel by Alison Clement (Paperback - April 22 2003)
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