A LITTLE CHANGE OF FACE by Lauren Baratz-Logsted has a crazy
premise. A woman, Scarlett Jane Stein, decides to have a makeover.
But instead of going from plain to beautiful, she does it in
reverse. She changes her name to Lettie Shaw, her appearance from
beautiful to plain, and even her job, as she moves to another town
to become a whole new person.
Scarlett is fed up with being judged by her looks. She's a beauty,
with her main attraction being her large breasts and long hair.
She's in great shape and has no problems attracting men. Her
"default" best friend Pam encourages her to alter her image, after
Scarlett has complained yet again of how men seem to fall all over
her because of her outward appearance. So Scarlett becomes Lettie
Shaw, her world changing almost overnight.
It is quite a shock to Scarlett's friends to see her with her new
short hairstyle (which she did herself), her new wardrobe (which
for the most part are oversized dresses to help hide her perfect
figure), and her new glasses (she took out her contacts). Along
with the physical transformation, however, she also tries to live
the part. How would Lettie behave in this situation? What would
Lettie say to that? Scarlett becomes meek Lettie, not very
assertive and somewhat of a mouse.
Scarlett's original job was that of a research librarian; when she
changes her personality, she decides to remain a librarian but is
now at an entry-level position at the age of 40. And while she was
very popular in the past, at her new job she is almost ignored. She
no longer attracts attention from men, and if she does, it isn't
because she's beautiful, which is, however, what she wanted in the
Scarlett learns a lot of interesting things about men and people in
general when she views the world from the eyes of a dowdy spinster
such as Lettie Shaw. She also learns a lesson in friendship,
especially in regards to her "default" best friend Pam. It is a
rather crazy way to truly see how the other half lives, but A
LITTLE CHANGE OF FACE was written in such a way that this reviewer
bought into the whole premise. What helps is that Scarlett is
totally aware that what she's doing is not normal. This crazy
transformation that Scarlett has just completed is just
that...crazy! And while I kept envisioning a modern "I Love Lucy"
type of scheme that would be masterminded by Lucy and Ethel, I
laughed out loud at some of the witticisms that came out of the
mouth and mind of Scarlett Jane Stein. The laughs probably will
come mostly from 40-something readers.
A LITTLE CHANGE OF FACE was a different type of Chick Lit book, to
say the least. It was refreshing, albeit somewhat oddball in plot.
For those who are looking for something totally unique in this
genre, this book needs to be checked out.
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on December 30, 2010