I'm Not Her
Cara Sue Achterberg
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It was a Tuesday like any other. And then it wasn’t. A simple encounter at a supermarket changed Carin Fletcher’s and Leann Cane’s lives – literally. Suddenly Carin, a pretty, self-absorbed, underemployed young college graduate, finds her life switched with Leann, an uneducated, perennially poor, obese checkout clerk.
Both women are forced into lives opposite all they’ve ever known. Leann, at first thrilled to look and live like her favorite soap opera stars, discovers that the insecurities and desperation she’s grown up with don’t disappear because she looks like a model now. Fighting off the affections of a boyfriend she never chose and a controlling, plastic mother is hard enough, but she must fight off her own demons and figure out how to survive when her dreams come true.
Carin, suddenly fat, poor, meagerly employed, saddled with a kid, and married to a loser, must face her own – and the world’s – preconceived notions about life on the bottom rung. Carin spends her days avoiding the threats of Leann’s abusive husband, working two jobs to save money for her escape, and wrestling with her role as a mom to a precocious six-year-old. She is surprised to learn that life can be rich even while destitute. She is even more surprised when she falls for a stock boy who repairs juke boxes and drives a hearse in his spare time.
Both women are facing unknowable futures that neither could have imagined. Are they destined to live this way forever? And if so, where will it all lead?
A brilliant, nuanced, and surprising tale about the way the world sees us and the course we are on, I'M NOT HER is a remarkably assured first novel that introduces a profound new storyteller.
Pretty Good For Her First Fiction