Beautiful Stranger: A Memoir of an Obsession with Perfection

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Penguin Group USA, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 292 pages
5 Reviews
Hope Donahue seemed to have it all: beauty, wealth, social status. She was an only child who grew up with the best private schools, debutante balls, and a home in Hancock Park, Los Angeles's old-money enclave. But beneath the family's facade of "keeping up appearances," Hope hid a host of ugly truths, including a mother increasingly jealous of her daughter's good looks, an uncle's sexual advances, and a father who cowed to the demands of his wife and coolly reserved parents. Hope became addicted to a quest for physical perfection in place of her self-esteem--and by the age of twenty-seven she had undergone seven plastic surgeries. In riveting, unflinching prose, Hope recounts her downward spiral that alienated her family and friends, and led her to theft, bankruptcy, and a sadistic relationship before she began her recovery. A powerful response to a culture obsessed with extreme makeovers and risky procedures that promise flawlessness, Beautiful Stranger is a timely, cautionary tale. Her story will inspire the countless women and men like her who struggle every day in a culture that feeds us dangerous images of unattainable perfection.

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User Review  - leila_summers - LibraryThing

memoir [edit] This book is not easy to review, nor was it easy to read. That's not to say it's not well written or interesting, it definitely is! The book presents some shocking realities regarding ... Read full review

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User Review  - Angelic55blonde - LibraryThing

This is a memoir by a woman who by all accounts, had everything. She came from a wealthy family, never needed anything, although her parents were definitely far from normal and her mom could have ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Hope Donahue grew up in Los Angeles, California, and holds a masters degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley. She was a finalist in "Glimmer Train"s short story competition, and her short fiction has also appeared in "Other Voices,

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