17 Books You Should Be Reading This Spring
5 of 17
The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty
"It's physically painful to look at you, you're so beautiful," observes Gabriel to Barb before he kills himself, leaving behind a suicide note attributing his despair to unrequited love for her. Believing her good looks to be a "deadly weapon," Barb, a costume designer with a flair for the dramatic, thereafter chooses to conceal her beauty beneath a fat suit and sloppy gray wig—a uniform she wears every time she leaves her apartment for almost two years after Gabriel's death. Only her closest friends and her disapproving mother know what she really looks like, and that's the whole point of The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty, Amanda Filipacchi's zanily satirical, spot-on novel. If Barb's exquisite appearance is so distracting that men can't discern who she is inside, she'll have to find a soul mate without the burden of her seductive exterior.
— Leigh Haber