Title: Seeing Me Naked
Author: Liza Palmer
Release Date: January 8, 2008
Publisher: 5 Spot
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 4 out of 5
Elizabeth Page is a pastry chef at a popular restaurant, and despite the fact that she is content professionally, she is stuck in her life. Her ongoing relationship with her best friend, Will, is broken; despite the fact that he claims to love her, he puts his work first, leaving her behind while he travels around the world. Elizabeth’s father disapproves of her line of work; as a Pulitzer Prize winning author, he believes his daughter should be in a more intellectual profession. But when Elizabeth receives an exciting new work opportunity and meets a new, intriguing man who is the opposite of Will, will she have the courage to change her life, even if it’s something of which her family might not approve?
Seeing Me Naked is an enjoyable chick lit novel with a sympathetic main character. Elizabeth is doing the best she can in life, and by all objective accounts, she’s successful - she has a boyfriend and a job at one of the best restaurants in LA. But she’s not truly satisfied with either. She’s tired of Will’s complete lack of regard for her feelings, even as she is always available for him when he happens to be around. It’s understandable how Elizabeth has fallen into a rut; she has such a strict routine that she doesn’t really have time to think about how her life is unsatisfying. But when a new man, Daniel, shows up, Elizabeth is forced to take stock of what her life has become, and she doesn’t like what she sees.
Elizabeth’s family certainly doesn’t make her life any easier. Palmer did an excellent job portraying a completely dysfunctional family. Elizabeth is so used to her dad’s peculiarities that she barely notices them anymore. He’s a famous author, so he’s allowed to be rude to people and generally behave abominably. It’s so interesting to see their dynamics, and through them it’s easy to understand why Elizabeth is so stuck. While difficult, each member of her family is written very well; Palmer did an excellent job developing her characters.
The main theme of Seeing Me Naked is the difficulty of change. It’s so easy to continue on a non-ideal path if it’s what you are used to. The hardest thing can be to change something that you’re comfortable with. It’s a great message, especially after the reader sees how rewarding change can be, how much Elizabeth alters her life for the better after taking a few risks.
While Seeing Me Naked is predictable, it’s still a fun read, especially if you are in the mood for something light and easy. I enjoyed getting to know Elizabeth, and I look forward to reading more of Palmer’s work.