Book Review: Perfecting Kate

Perfecting KatePerfecting Kate by Tamara Leigh is a humorous, self-deprecating novel about a 30-something artist navigating her way through sticky roommate situations and even stickier romantic situations.

While trying to build bridges with her difficult roommate, Kate meets Michael, a famous make-up artist who seems to miraculously set his sights on her rather than her flawless roommate. But Michael has a penchant for pointing out her physical flaws, and requesting that she get them surgically fixed. And although he seems to have a fascination with her roommate, Kate comforts herself that at least he’s a Christian and he says he loves her. Dr. Clive Alexander, on the other hand, does nothing to flatter her and even manages to antagonize her at every turn–especially when it comes to her faith–yet whenever he’s around, her heart rate increases. Kate begins to wonder just what God is doing in her life.

It wasn’t difficult to get caught up in Kate’s ever-humorous inner-dialogue, in fact, it was my favorite part. Although a little over-the-top (she is an artist after all), Kate is accessible and relatable to women in a variety of stages and situations–she’s fairly realistic, far from perfect, always trying to take her faith a step further, and never really sure what to do next.

In her search for love, Kate learns that faith isn’t just a box to be ticked off the list and people are sometimes more complicated than they first appear. Kate also struggles with deeper issues than her love life–throughout the book, she mourns the loss of her ability to have children and learns to embrace herself just the way she is.

I did find Leigh’s treatment of “singledom” troubling. Kate has a pattern of swearing off men and putting forth an effort to embrace singledom, only to be derailed by yet another man. Instead of trusting God to bring the right man into her life at the right time, and meanwhile pursuing what God has for her life today, Kate does things her own way. In the end, her approach pans out as she stumbles over the “right” one. In my observation, this kind of approach does more harm to young woman than anything. And Leigh’s brush-off of singledom doesn’t do anything to encourage single women or change cultural perceptions.

Although it has a few flaws, this is definitely a fun, quick summer read.

I received a complimentary copy of Perfecting Kate from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group, but I was not otherwise compensated for this review. All writing, thoughts, and opinions are solely mine.

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