Loretta Crawford refuses to be defined by circumstance. On the outside she is "Bubbles", an obese part-time saxophone player with a cheating husband and an overbearing mother who can't see past the end of her own fork. But on the inside, Loretta has enough Texas blue collar spunk to sign herself up for weight loss surgery and kick all the naysayers to the curb.
Post-op and newly divorced, she begins to put herself first and learns a thing or two along the way. Having grown up in a family where food equals comfort, Loretta decides to satisfy her cravings by cooking for friends and colleagues instead of drowning her sorrows in pimiento cheese. Word of mouth spreads and soon she becomes one of the most up-and-coming stars of the Houston catering scene.
As her business grows so does her confidence and for the first time in a long time - maybe ever - Loretta learns what it is to appreciate herself. She learns to say no (albeit with laugh out loud Southern sass) and at times that puts her at odds with her mom and sister, and people who knew her as "Bubbles". Ultimately, though, she realizes she can't look forward without looking back and eventually finds inner peace somewhere in the middle.
If you are looking for a light read with a few oh-so-good-because-they're-oh-so-bad recipes tossed in, Hungry for Happiness is one book not to be missed.
Recommended by Priscilla Garvin