Contemporary Fiction, Review

Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman

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A poignant and relatable novel, Looking Glass Lies captures the war women wage against themselves, and the struggle to see beauty reflected in a mirror not distorted by society’s unrelenting expectations.

Looking Glass Lies by Varina DenmanFor most of her adult life, Cecily Ross has compared herself to other women—and come up short. After a painful divorce from her emotionally abusive husband, Cecily returns to her hometown of Canyon, Texas, looking to heal.

But coming home isn’t what she expects. In a town as small as Canyon, her pain is difficult to escape—especially with her model-perfect ex–sister-in-law working at the town’s popular coffee-shop hangout. With help from her father, a support group, and an old friend who guides her to see her own strengths, Cecily may have a shot at overcoming her insecurities and learning to love again.

The true test comes when tragedy strikes, opening Cecily’s eyes to the harmfulness of her distorted views on beauty—and giving her the perfect opportunity to find peace at last.

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My Thoughts

Christian fiction needs more stories like this! Authentic, vulnerable, and at times uncomfortable, Looking Glass Lies takes readers deep into the heart of several core issues fueling harmful patterns of low self-esteem and unhealthy body image.

Being married to an emotionally abusive husband for several years would knock just about any woman down a few notches on the confidence tree. It’s no wonder Cecily has trouble getting back on her feet yet her perception of beauty and her self-worth are all tangled up in a painful knot.

Like most women, I’ve experienced my share of body insecurity yet reading about Cecily’s struggle, depression, and desperation pulled on my heartstrings and opened my eyes to the extreme soul-deep heartache of the many women who feel ashamed of their bodies.

My favorite takeaway from this story is that women from all walks of life, all body shapes and sizes, and all ages can be encouraging and supportive of one another. We all have struggles and insecurities but together we can overcome them with the Truth!

I requested the opportunity to read this book through the author. The opinions expressed are my own.


About the Author

Varina DenmanVarina Denman enjoys writing fiction about women and the unique struggles they face. Her novels include the Mended Hearts trilogy: Jaded, Justified, and Jilted, as well as her latest release, Looking Glass Lies. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and her debut novel, Jaded, won the ACFW Genesis Contest, the BRMCWC Selah Award, and the INSPYs Bloggers’ Award for Excellence in Faith-Driven Literature.

Varina attended three universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in her local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature. Varina lives in North Texas where she volunteers in local marriage and family ministry. She is represented by Jessica Kirkland of Kirkland Media Management.

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Do you have a support group or accountability partner who helps you through the rough patches in life?

5 thoughts on “Looking Glass Lies by Varina Denman”

  1. Excellent review, Beth! The Lord has placed powerful ladies in my life who I can call on during hard times. I am so grateful for them! 🙂


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