Ms. Murphy's Makeover

“I love this book. I must warn readers: It will haunt you in the way only a story as courageous as Ms. Murphy’s Makeover can.” – “Patricia Dunn, author of Rebels by Accident.

Connecticut housewife Charlotte Murphy wonders why her workaholic husband never wants sex. Is he cheating, or just disinterested? She loves her teaching job, but has to put up with an overbearing principal who deals suspiciously with standardized tests. To top it off, Mr. Lagakis, a male colleague, hits on her relentlessly, with compliments just this side of harassment. She is facing the loss of her marriage and her job when three warmhearted, students give her a makeover that changes her entire life.

The students in Charlotte’s school, a vocational high school dedicated to cosmetology, are good people born into tough circumstances.  Seventeen year old Valerie Martin is Charlotte’s prize pupil.  She is an honor student, although her mom is a drug addict, her father is in jail, and her formidable grandmother, her guardian, “hits first and asks questions later.” Valerie asks Charlotte’s advice about her new love, a preppy boy nicknamed J. Crew.  Little does she know that her teacher has relationship problems of her own.

Valerie’s best friends, volcanic Suzette, break-and-entry specialist Monroe, and brilliant Rohan, newly on parole,  round out a cast of characters based on my experience of teaching English in the Bronx.

“Authentic, humorous, and tender, in her big-hearted debut, Jacqueline Goldstein’s Ms. Murphy’s Makeover will open your mind as it warms your heart.” -Sally Koslow, author of The Widow Waltz