‘Beauty’ of a book is a modern-day tale

“B as in Beauty” by Alberto Ferreras, c. 2009, Grand Central Publishing, $13.99, 335 pages, includes book group guides in English and Spanish.

  • Tuesday, July 7, 2009 12:40am
  • Life

The Bookworm

“B as in Beauty” by Alberto Ferreras, c. 2009, Grand Central Publishing, $13.99, 335 pages, includes book group guides in English and Spanish.

Your nose is too big.

Most people wouldn’t notice, but you do. And when you look in a mirror, your eyes are like two tiny marbles in a pile of dough and your hair is just – ugh. Everybody tells you how gorgeous your smile is, but you’re pretty sure they’re just being nice. You even hate your ears, if that’s possible.

Don’t even start on your thighs or your tush.

Do you ever wish someone had a magic wand and would – poof! – make you look like a model? In the new book “B as in Beauty” by Alberto Ferreras, a young woman wants exactly that, but she has other lessons to learn first.

As if being fat wasn’t enough, Beauty Maria Zavala’s Cuban-born parents saddled her with a name that definitely didn’t fit. Beauty was willing to acknowledge the fat – it was kind of hard to hide – but the name? Not so much. She told everyone to just call her B. It avoided so much embarrassment.

And as if being fat and having a weird name wasn’t the end of it all, B had a rotten job. For several years, she’d killed herself to do a good job for her evil boss, Bonnie, in the hopes of getting a nice, fat promotion and a corner office. But when B overheard a nasty conversation in the ladies’ room, she realized that was never going to happen.

B hated her job.

So when a Russian tax preparer handed her a business card and called her “beautiful,” well, who could resist calling?

Much like a Fairy Godmother, the Russian woman offered B a new life, with a twist: some men would clearly see past the drab clothes and severe hairdo and they’d pay to spend time with B. No strings attached. No sex. No long-term involvement.

Cautiously, B took the job. Then another. And another.

Soon, she could see that her body was worthy of worship. Her shape wasn’t pleasingly plump, it was just pleasing. Clothes didn’t have to be drab and curly Latina hair didn’t have to be tamed. And a mousy formerly-fat girl really could find happiness by embracing her wonderful name.

Oh, my, but I loved this book.

With a perfectly sweet and funny heroine, a few ugly “sisters,” a borderline-criminal fairy godmother, a handsome carriage driver, a flock of flawed and unwitting helpers and the most unlikely Prince Charming, Ferreras has crafted a modern fairy tale that is absolutely irresistible.

Beauty Zavala is the kind of character you wish was real, just so you could borrow some of her attitude. It’s hard not to feel sad for her predicaments, it’s easy to cheer for her new-found self-confidence and her slam-dunk revenge is the kind of stuff that Hollywood loves. Real, unstilted dialogue makes this book an even bigger joy to read.

If you’re wondering what to pack in your suitcase or overnighter this summer, stop looking and just get this book. For anyone who loves a happy ending, “B as in Beauty” is positively magic.

The Bookworm is Terri Schlichenmeyer. Terri has been reading since she was 3 years old and never goes anywhere without a book. She lives in West Salem, Wis., with her two dogs and 9,500 books.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Life

Photo courtesy Public Health Insider
Confirm your vaccination: A new requirement for many activities in King County

If you want to go to large events or indoors to watch a movie or drink a beer, you’ll have to prove you’re vaccinated or COVID-negative.

Photo by Ray Miller-Still 
Two Buckley Log Show contestants team up to see which couple can hand-saw through a log the fastest.
At a glance | September 2021 events

Log show, rallycross racing, the return to school and more.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness

By Larry Lark, contributor Residents of the PNW are no strangers to… Continue reading

2021 McLaren GT. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 McLaren GT

By Larry Lark, contributor I’m not sure words can do the 2021… Continue reading

2022 Kia Carnival SX. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Kia Carnival SX

By Larry Lark, contributor It’s the way of the world. As old… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited
Car review: 2021 Toyota Venza Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Many people are unfamiliar with Toyota’s Venza, but… Continue reading

Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500
Car review: 2021 Lexus LC 500

By Larry Lark, contributor I can’t think of many more fun ways… Continue reading

2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE

By Larry Lark, contributor The mid-size 2021 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0T SE has… Continue reading

2022 Honda Civic Touring
Car review: 2022 Honda Civic Touring

By Larry Lark, contributor You’ve all heard and read the idiom attributed… Continue reading

2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited
Car review: 2022 Hyundai Tucson Limited

By Larry Lark, contributor Hyundai’s “horse” in the compact sports utility market… Continue reading

2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander SEL

By Larry Lark, contributor It always starts around this time of year.… Continue reading

2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Infiniti QX80 Sensory

By Larry Lark, contributor If you’re looking for a full-size, affordable, luxury… Continue reading