Mary Monroe – Book Series In Order

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Mary Monroe is a historical fiction author from Alabama who has made a name for herself with the “God Doesn’t Like Ugly” series of novels. she is famously the daughter of alabama sharecroppers and she has the distinction of being the first and only member of her family to finish high school. Unlike many authors, Monroe never went to college or attended writing classes, as all she knows about writing is self-taught. She however, had an early start in writing, as she had started writing short stories at age four and has been writing ever since. Her first novel was the 1985 published The Upper Room, which received much critical acclaim in the United States and Britain. Terry Mcmillan incorporated an excerpt from the novel into the Icebreaker Anthology. Over the years, she has won several awards, including the 2001 Best Fiction Award for the novel “God Doesn’t Like Ugly.” In 2004, “I’ll Drop My Burdens” was the winner of the Best Southern Author Award. Her last feather on her cap was hers when she won the 2016 AABC Maya Angelou Lifetime Achievement Award. Mary Monroe is divorced and spends a lot of time reading the likes of James Patterson, Alice Walker, Stephen King and Ernest Gaines. For the most part, she writes every day of the week getting most of her ideas from the people around her and current events, although most of her work is autobiographical.

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mary monroe was born in a small rural town in alabama where she spent much of her time working in the fields with her family. during periods of inactivity, she made up stories to entertain other children and her family, which she started doing when she was only four years old. much like her in her adulthood, many of her stories during this period were autobiographical or from observation of other people around her. when she was a teenager, she shifted her focus to writing lurid narratives for a variety of women’s confessional magazines and sold quite a few. while she tried to sell her non-fiction to “digested readers”, she found no one willing to publish any of her work. She found early success with her debut novel The Upper Room, which was published the same year she finished writing it. However, while that would have been the kick start to her career, it turned out to be a false setback as it would be another fifteen years before she published her second novel “God Doesn’t Like Ugly”. It was a depressing time for the author, though she never gave up, even as she collected five to six rejection letters a week for fifteen years straight. what kept her going at this point was the fact that she hated her job and she knew writing was the only way out of it. After many years of trying, she finally managed to get her second novel “God Doesn’t Like Ugly” published in 2000, and since then her career exploded.

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The main character in the novel series God Doesn’t Like Ugly is Annette Goode. Annette starts out as an overweight, shy and awkward girl with a terrible secret that she becomes a married woman haunted by her past. Mr. carpenter, the boarder her mother had taken in when she was thirteen had harassed the girl almost daily, which had embarrassed and frightened her. unable to escape her situation, she found solace and escape in food and books. Throughout the novels in which she becomes a married woman, her self-esteem never recovers and she is always looking to find fault with herself. Fortunately, she has her friends and family to lean on, though her marriage eventually falls apart as she can never get her husband to love her. the novels offer an interesting perspective on the black community in the post- and pre-civil war era, which makes for interesting reading. although the times are not the center of the narratives, the effects of racism in the community of the time are a main motif in the novels. The God Doesn’t Like Ugly series provides a lot of insight into the black community’s relationships with each other and with the white community, and provides a very interesting timeline of the changes wrought over time.

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“god doesn’t like ugly,” the first novel in the god doesn’t like ugly series is a poignant and witty coming-of-age narrative that harkens back to living rooms, porches, and streets of the civil rights era in ohio. opens up to the friendship between two girls rhoda and annette goode that couldn’t be any different. Obese, awkward and shy Annette Goode has a terrible secret that has been gnawing at her mind for years. Lonely and friendless, she is surprised when the popular Rhoda Nelson wants her to be friends with her. Rhoda is everything she is not, being worldly, slim, beautiful, generous, and stunning. She welcomes Annette into her eccentric family with an array of colorful characters including sullen and scary granny Rose, sultry Aunt Lola, half-crazy Uncle Johnny and her dangerous and brooding brother Jock. . With Rhoda as her best friend, she finds her adolescence easier and she becomes a woman. But her world is turned upside down when her friend admits to committing a horrible childhood crime.

“god still doesn’t like ugly,” the sequel to the debut opens with annette as a grown woman. Her father, who had left the family to marry another woman, had always informed her of her attitude towards men. men like mr. the carpenter had abused her while other men paid to sleep with her after she ran away from her miserable life. no man had painted the picture of chivalry she had in mind, until she decided to reconcile with her father after years of heartbreak and soul searching. she has also stopped seeing rhoda, the dangerously unstable best friend she has been by her side for years. But just when she thinks her life is finally coming together, a guest at her wedding brings everything crashing down. he reveals that her future girlfriend once worked as a prostitute, a revelation that sends the boyfriend on the run. she is reunited with her childhood sweetheart although it is clear that her heart is not in it. Plus, she’s still struggling with Rhoda’s big secret that she just won’t stop haunting her days. Suddenly Rhoda is back in her life, making it even more complicated.

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