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The Beautiful Misfits

Rating: 3 Stars

"A woman is an indomitably unbreakable creature who can endure mountains of burdens until losing her balance at the top."

Eighty-four seconds can change your life. Or destroy it. Josie Nickels is an Emmy-winning news anchor, poised to rise through the ranks of television journalism. But on a bitter March evening on live TV, the pressures and secrets burbling behind closed doors of her ridiculous Victorian mansion explode. And the overwhelmed journalist spills family secrets like a Baptist at altar call. The aftermath costs her much more than a career. It robs her of a beloved son-a preppy, educated millennial trapped in a deadly world of addiction. Desperate for a new start and a way to save her son, Josie packs up her pride, her young daughter, and accepts a new job slinging cosmetics at a department store make-up counter with other disgraced celebs. In the gorgeous mountains of Asheville N.C., known for hippies, healings, and Subarus, Josie is faced with a choice: Take a chance of bold, out-of-the-ordinary treatment plan for her son. Or lose him forever.

Josie is starting over in a new town with a job she is overqualified for after having a breakdown on air and a stint in rehab for her alcohol addiction. Josie's sole focus seems to be on helping her son to get clean. Josie is estranged from her son and ex-husband who have both blocked her, but reach out to her when they want money. She is working a job she hates, with a woman who makes her life miserable, while raising her 3 year old daughter. Her sole goal throughout the book is to try and convince her son to get treatment while fighting with her ex and working on herself.

Josie has some character development throughout the book, she realizes she has to be a better mother for both her children, and works on fixing herself. I think Josie's self growth and her love for her children was a marvelous story line. I wasn't really a fan of the romance or the secondary stories with her mother and her coworker Pauline. The book has a sort of dark sense of humor at times and it addresses some heavy topics. I liked that the book provides a hopeful message for those who love someone struggling with addiction.

I struggled to connect with Josie and some of the other characters and was put off by some of the plot points, which it felt like changed the tone of the story. Also, it was more about Josie accepting herself and the reality that she couldn't save her son if he didn't want help, than it was about him getting treatment. Overall, it was a heartfelt book that provides a hopeful view of addiction. With moments of humor scattered throughout to keep the book from becoming too intense.

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