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An earth-conscious, yoga-practicing twenty-something is forced to face her estranged relationship with her mother in this comic yet poignant novel about moms and daughters.

Mia Rathbun is an overworked and underpaid Chicago social worker who belongs to PETA and recycles the tops of pizza boxes. Her boyfriend, Lars, is a free-spirited freelance writer (read: mooch) who disdains the conventions of marriage but is happy to build a life with Mia. That is until Mia becomes pregnant.

Left on her own, Mia just begins to accustom herself to the looming prospect of single parenthood when her mother, Babs, shows up to “help.” The two have an estranged relationship but are forced to acknowledge their connection as Mia’s belly grows and she has few other options. The story is told with Stuart’s characteristic irreverent and authentic humor with healthy doses of poignancy and grace.

From the Back Cover

Mia is a granola-eating, sensible shoe–wearing, carbon footprint–conscious twenty-something living in a multicultural neighborhood in Chicago. Her mother, Babs, is a stiletto-wearing Zsa Zsa Gabor type who works as an activities hostess on a Caribbean cruise line … and if you guessed there’s some tension there, you’d be right. Factor in an unexpected pregnancy and Mia’s idealistic boyfriend—Lars is such a visionary he doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage—and the mother-daughter relationship is, well, stretched very thin. As is Mia’s sanity when Babs shows up to … help.


Actually, Mia has a whole neighborhood of quirky characters who want to help, including her BFF Frankie, a magenta-haired librarian; Silas, the courtly gentleman of indeterminate age who lives downstairs; and Adam, proprietor of the corner grocery store where Mia shops. But it’s Adam—endearing, kind, possessed of a perfect smile and impeccable Persian manners—who ultimately charms Babs and rescues Mia from more than one mother-induced meltdown. Could it be that Mia and Babs might actually be able to get along?


With Kimberly Stuart’s trademark irreverent humor and a surprising and satisfying take on romance, Stretch Marks is an authentic but tender story about family, grace, and the importance of a good grocer.


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Product Details
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (September 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0781448921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0781448925
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: t("/gp/customer-reviews/common/du/recordHistoPopAjax.html", null); } function constructTriggerPrefix(asin){ return "reviewHistoPop" + '_' + asin; } function getContentDivId(triggerName){ var nameArray = new Array(); nameArray = triggerName.split('__'); return nameArray[1]; } var reviewHistPopoverConfig = { showOnHover:true, showCloseButton:false, width:null, location:'bottom', locationAlign:'right', clone:false, onShow: reviewHistPingAjax }; Ready('popover', function(){ jQuery('a[name^=' + triggerDivPrefix + ']').each(function(){ jQuery(this).removeAmazonPopoverTrigger(); var contentDivId = getContentDivId(this.name); var myConfig = jQuery.extend(true, {}, reviewHistPopoverConfig); myConfig.localContent = '#' + contentDivId; jQuery(this).amazonPopoverTrigger(myConfig); }); }); } 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon.com Sales Rank: #297,699 in Books (See Bestsellers in Books)
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review by . September 28, 2009
With a healthy dose of wit and a touch of whimsy Kimberly Stuart takes on the challenge of a prickly yoga enthusiast who inadvertently ends up pregnant by her tree-hugging, commitment/job-phobe live-in. This alone is enough to challenge Christian fiction readers. But that's not all this novel is about. Toss in the estranged mother who is opposite in all ways and pushy about it. Add a touching teen Juno situation and a will-they, won't-they romantic scenario and, well, you get the general idea, lots …
Stretch Marks: A Novel
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