"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.
At turns wickedly funny and insistently thought-provoking, Outside Beauty showcases Cynthia Kadohata's unerring ability to explore the bonds that bind.
I really like the concept of this book. The thought that four girls, who are technically only half-sisters but who consider themselves to be sisters, was really interesting to read about. It's not something you think about, really, or expect to see in a book, but here it is.
The characters in this book were all unique; each sister had their own personality, and their mother was by far the most fascinating person out of them all. I find myself wanting to know more about her past, and how she came to be how she is. I am also interested in her future, and what happened after the last page.
I really disliked the pacing of this book. It seemed almost rushed, and too much time passed by too quickly. It seemed like the author relied more on feelings and relationships than on details and descriptions, which fit some parts of the books but ruined other parts.
It was mostly the lack of details that ruined this book for me. I understand the message, and I completely respect the idea behind it all, but it seemed like there was too much missing out of the story for me to really feel like it ended.
Overall, though, it wasn't bad. I'd just say it wasn't great, either.