Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Such a Pretty Face by Cathy Lamb

Stevie Barret has had a lap band operation to bring her weight under control. Her obesity was caused by emotional over-eating due to guilt she felt over not being able to save her little sister Sunshine and the emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of the uncle who took her in when she was a child. Sunshine was thrown off a bridge by their schizophrenic mother, Helen, as was Stevie, before their mother jumped off the bridge herself. Throughout the book, Stevie revisits different parts from her childhood, and how it was to grow up with Helen around, and sometimes, when she wasn't around.
Stevie now has to go through the process of forgiving her mother, and herself, for what happened to Sunshine and accept that it wasn't her fault that Sunshine wasn't able to make it out of the river. She has to do this while also trying to accept her new smaller body, throw off her shyness to talk to her very attractive neighbor, and gain self confidence in spite of a very jealous friend who is determined to keep her down.
1) Stevie also has to help her cousins, who have their own emotional baggage from their childhood, to plan her aunt and uncle's fortieth wedding anniversary party, a party that no one really wants to happen because it is obvious that her aunt would be better off without her uncle. What would you do if you knew one of your friends or relatives was in some type of abusive relationship?
2) How would you feel if your mother did not recognize you as her own child due to mental illness? Would you resent her for it? Would you be able to eventually accept her as she is?
3) How would you deal with a jealous friend who was trying to keep you from growing as a person? Would you try to fix the relationship, or would you just stop being friends?


Amanda Z. 11-12 said...

1. I would let someone else know about it or maybe try to talk some sense into the victim. It's a really delicate situation, almost regardless and it could be extremely difficult to prevent.
2. It would make me undecribably sad if my mom didn't recognize me. If I was going through tough times, I'd probably resent her, but she couldn't help it, so the resentment wouldn't last.
3. I'd attempt to fix it and if I failed, I'd ditch them. So don't be jealous of me, even though I know its tempting. =D

Kelsey M. 13-14 said...

1. I think it is a very difficult situation and one that cannot be taken lightly but it is important that you try and help. I think you should try to talk to the victim and try to get them to some sort of counseling.

Deanna K 5-6 said...

1) I would try and help them by telling another adult. That adult would try to help them, but if that did work, i would reccomend the friend/relative to seek counseling. Counseling will help the person see that the relationship is unhealthy and that it is possible to continue without it.

2) I would feel horrible. I don't believe this mother didn't recognize Stevie as her child, but was actually tring to do what was right for her. Although the mother did kill herself and one of her children, she thought she was doing what was best. People with mental illnesses are sick, but are more serious issues that control someone's mind. It does not allow the person to think clearly and forces them to behave very irrationally. If i were Stevie, I would not resent her. Yes, I would be extrememly upset, yet I would come to terms with the fact that it wasn't my mother who did it, it was her illness that causes my siser's death.

3)I would definitely stop being friends with this person. Friends want what's best for the other, and this person obviously is not my friend.

Mike B 13-14 said...

2) It would be horrible for a mother to not be abile to recognize her child. If my mother developed a mental illness and forgot who I was I would be crushed. I think i would have some resentment at first but i would have to learn to accept reality. I would do all I could to help my mother so mabye one day she could remember again.

MaryL11-12 said...

It definitely wouldn't be easy to not be recognized by my own mom but I would have to understand that it is not her fault. Yes I think I would resent her but at the same time as I grew older I think I would become more understanding.
I woouldn't bother with someone that was doing anything but benefiting me there's no point in having friends if they don't want the best for you; if they don't want you to succeed. I would probably try to fix the situation at first but then decide it doesn't really matter and move on.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I would try to help them get out of the relationship as soon as possible by telling a professional or someone who has been through a similar situation. However, if the person doesn't want out of the relationship, there's not really much one can do.

2. I would feel horrible and unloved. I know I would definatly feel resentment, but not towards my mom. She can't help her mental illness. I would be angry at the rational people around me, such as my father, grandma, grandpa, etc. who weren't sick and knew that my mother was irrational.

3. I would just stop being friends. Friends should support each other and be happy for each other when good things come along. I know that if a friend was starting to become "attractive," I would be happy for them, not try to bring them down.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

2) Many people have to deal with people in their family that have mental illnesses. You need to learn to accept that they are sick, and sometimes, you can't do anything about it. I would not resent my mother if she did not recognize me as her own child. I would do everything that I could to help my mother's situation. It would be very hard to do, and I know sometimes I would wanna give up, but she is my mother. When you love somone unconditionally, you will do anything to help them.
My mom had to go through most of her life with a sick mother, and she often had to take care of her mom and her little sister. She might have missed out on some parts of her childhood, but she did everything that she could for her mom because she loved her.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

1) If I knew that a friend or relative was in an abusive relationship, I would do everything in my power to change the situation. I would start off with just being supportive and try to hint at the fact that the relationship is unhealthy. Then, I would probably directly confront them if they let the situation persist. If things were bad enough, I would seek outside help to make sure the situation would change.
2)If my mother did not recognize me because of mental illness, I would be very hurt. I cannot be certain if I would ever get over it. I would try but I think that deep down the ghost of that memory would always haunt me. I would do my best to understand and accept that it is out of her control.

Betsy C 1314 said...

1 If i knew that a relative was in an abusive relationship, i would do anything that i could in order to help them. It isn't fair for someone to be systematically abused and for nobody to speak up.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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