Hungry for Happiness by James Villas

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In his beguiling and powerful new novel, the award-winning author of Dancing in the Lowcountry serves up a story of friendship, Southern food, dreams, and determination.

Loretta Crawford grew up in a family where lives are small and appetites are big, and where the cure for what ails you can usually be found in a plate of hot biscuits or a slice of rich pound cake. The results show all too clearly on her 5'4", 280-pound frame. Until one day, Loretta realizes she's had enough--enough of her mama's sugarcoated putdowns and of feeling unattractive, and enough of being called "Bubbles" when she blows her saxophone at Ziggy's club.

The final indignity comes when her loser husband, Lyman, leaves her for another woman. Down but determined, Loretta opts for weight loss surgery. As her size plummets, her horizons expand. Men look at her with desire instead of derision, and the catering business that was once a hobby begins to take off in earnest. . .

The fact is, no one in Houston can cook as well as Loretta, whether it's spicy shrimp Creole or delectable pecan wafers. Soon, the food that was her downfall promises to be her key to success. But the closer she gets to attaining the life she's always dreamed of--complete with a new love interest--the messier things become. Once, Loretta was sure that happiness, or something close to it, would be found in her first pair of skinny jeans. The reality isn't just complicated--it's surprising, heartbreaking, and ultimately liberating.

Moving, witty, and resolutely uplifting, here is a heroine as real as she is unforgettable, and a story that will resonate with every woman. . .fat, thin, and every size in between.


About James Villas

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JAMES VILLAS’s work has appeared in Esquire, Food & Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appétit, and the New York Times. He won James Beard Awards for Journalism in 2003 and for Pig: King of the Southern Table.
Published November 1, 2010 by Kensington Books. 289 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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