Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
This Is Not My Beautiful Life

This Is Not My Beautiful Life

A Memoir

Victoria Fedden

Picador

BUY THE BOOK

ONE OF PUBLISHERS WEEKLY'S TEN MOST ANTICIPATED MEMOIRS OF THE SEASON AND A REFINERY29 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

IF YOU THINK IT SUCKS TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS WHEN YOU’RE THIRTY-SIX AND NINE MONTHS PREGNANT, JUST WAIT TILL THE DEA COMES KNOCKING (WITH THE IRS IN TOW): WELCOME TO VICTORIA FEDDEN’S LIFE.

When a squad of federal agents burst through her parents’ front door, Victoria Fedden felt ill-prepared to meet them: She was weeks away from her due date and her T-shirt wasn’t long enough to hide her maternity undies. As for the question of how to raise a child when you’ve just discovered that your mother and stepfather have allegedly masterminded a pump-and-dump scheme? She was pretty sure that wasn’t covered in What to Expect When You’re Expecting—and she really hoped that Bradford Cohen, the noted criminal defense attorney who famously waived his exemption on The Apprentice, would prove them innocent.

This Is Not My Beautiful Life is the story of how Victoria lost her parents to prison and nearly lost her mind. No one ever said motherhood would be easy, but as she struggles to change diapers, install car seats, and find the right drop-off line at pre-school—no easy task, when each one is named for a stage in the lifecycle of a f*cking butterfly—she’s also forced to ask herself whether a jump-suit might actually complement her mom’s platinum-blonde extensions and fend off the cast of shady, stranger-than-fiction characters (like the recovering addict who scored a reality show wh… More…

ONE OF PUBLISHERS WEEKLY'S TEN MOST ANTICIPATED MEMOIRS OF THE SEASON AND A REFINERY29 BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

IF YOU THINK IT SUCKS TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS WHEN YOU’RE THIRTY-SIX AND NINE MONTHS PREGNANT, JUST WAIT TILL THE DEA COMES KNOCKING (WITH THE IRS IN TOW): WELCOME TO VICTORIA FEDDEN’S LIFE.

When a squad of federal agents burst through her parents’ front door, Victoria Fedden felt ill-prepared to meet them: She was weeks away from her due date and her T-shirt wasn’t long enough to hide her maternity undies. As for the question of how to raise a child when you’ve just discovered that your mother and stepfather have allegedly masterminded a pump-and-dump scheme? She was pretty sure that wasn’t covered in What to Expect When You’re Expecting—and she really hoped that Bradford Cohen, the noted criminal defense attorney who famously waived his exemption on The Apprentice, would prove them innocent.

This Is Not My Beautiful Life is the story of how Victoria lost her parents to prison and nearly lost her mind. No one ever said motherhood would be easy, but as she struggles to change diapers, install car seats, and find the right drop-off line at pre-school—no easy task, when each one is named for a stage in the lifecycle of a f*cking butterfly—she’s also forced to ask herself whether a jump-suit might actually complement her mom’s platinum-blonde extensions and fend off the cast of shady, stranger-than-fiction characters (like the recovering addict who scored a reality show when he started an escort service for women) who populated her parents’ world.

A real-life Arrested Development that could only unfold in southern Florida, This Is Not My Beautiful Life is a hilariously funny and unexpectedly moving memoir of a just-functional family you’ll never forget.

Less…

1



When the Feds raid your house (or my parents’ house, in this case), they like to take you by surprise. They’ll come before sunrise and catch you in bed. Of course I didn’t know that, so when the doorbell rang politely,...

Praise for This Is Not My Beautiful Life

“A scandalously funny memoir about starting a new family while taking care of the felonious one you’ve already got.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

"Hilarious...Honest, unexpected, and gut-wrenchingly funny, Fedden's memoir of family and fraud is a must-read."—Harper's Bazaar (#TheList)

"A memoir with a premise so out of this world it’s hard to believe it’s not fiction."—Hello Giggles (New Books You Need to Read This Summer)

"In Fedden's hilarious new memoir, This Is Not My Beautiful Life, we get a clear picture of what it's like to grow up in a dysfunctional family living at the edge of the law. It would all make for a really great T.V. sitcom...if It weren't real...This quirky memoir is definitely one to add to your reading list."—Parents magazine

"This book is the very definition of summer reading."—The Rumpus

"This Is Not My Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden is a roller-coaster of a story that proves that sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction. Cancel all your plans today, because you will get nothing else accomplished once you start this book. Is 'unputdownable' a word? Well, it is now. This book is unputdownable!"—Jen Mann, New York Times bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges

"It may not be beautiful, but Victoria Fedden's life is never dull. Her hugely entertaining memoir of growing up with big-hearted criminals for parents is a compelling, fun, illum… More…

“A scandalously funny memoir about starting a new family while taking care of the felonious one you’ve already got.”—O, The Oprah Magazine

"Hilarious...Honest, unexpected, and gut-wrenchingly funny, Fedden's memoir of family and fraud is a must-read."—Harper's Bazaar (#TheList)

"A memoir with a premise so out of this world it’s hard to believe it’s not fiction."—Hello Giggles (New Books You Need to Read This Summer)

"In Fedden's hilarious new memoir, This Is Not My Beautiful Life, we get a clear picture of what it's like to grow up in a dysfunctional family living at the edge of the law. It would all make for a really great T.V. sitcom...if It weren't real...This quirky memoir is definitely one to add to your reading list."—Parents magazine

"This book is the very definition of summer reading."—The Rumpus

"This Is Not My Beautiful Life by Victoria Fedden is a roller-coaster of a story that proves that sometimes the truth IS stranger than fiction. Cancel all your plans today, because you will get nothing else accomplished once you start this book. Is 'unputdownable' a word? Well, it is now. This book is unputdownable!"—Jen Mann, New York Times bestselling author of People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Competitive Crafters, Drop-Off Despots, and Other Suburban Scourges

"It may not be beautiful, but Victoria Fedden's life is never dull. Her hugely entertaining memoir of growing up with big-hearted criminals for parents is a compelling, fun, illuminating look into how family ties can strangle us just a little."—Celia Rivenbark, New York Times bestselling author and syndicated humor columnist

"A scandalously funny memoir about starting a new family while taking care of the felonious one you’ve already got."—The Huffington Post

"What’s a new mom to do when her family is in barely functioning order and she’s got a new human on her hands? Work her way through it — and this laugh-out-loud memoir tells us how she did it."—Refinery29 (Perfect Books for your Summer Vacay)

"Fans of Arrested Development will enjoy Victoria Fedden's This Is Not My Beautiful Life...Fedden brings humor to her writing, making a miserable time a highly readable memoir."—Bustle (Must-Read Nonfiction Books)

"Fedden's book charts a refreshing path through family dysfunction and personal redemption. Entertaining and unexpectedly wise."—Kirkus Reviews

"This is a family which, as do many popular reality-television show clans, excels at outrageous behavior...Fedden's true story of crime, comeuppance, and toughing it out will appeal to all devotees of scandalous endeavors."—Booklist

“Fedden, whose places a high priority on caring for her troubled family, details with unfailing honesty and humor [their] joys and meltdowns...[Her mother and stepfather] are straight out of a Carl Hiaasen novel: AARP-age criminals who take pride in having a couch that was used in a porn film, shop at Costco, and are friends with gigolos, Russian mobsters, and singer Michael Bolton, among others."—Publishers Weekly

"This Is Not My Beautiful Life is as absurd as it is grounded. Filled with characters so over the top you'll suspect it's fiction, you will end up convinced no one could make this stuff up. Victoria Fedden has managed to bring startling reality and touching humanity to a story that feels larger than life."—Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe In Another Life

"Victoria Fedden's memoir is a hilarious mash-up of Married to the Mob, Parenthood, and Co-dependent No More. Any writer who can deadpan a sentence like 'Mom was out on bond by the time I got home' gets my vote. This is a big-hearted book for screw-ups, late-bloomers, and second-chancers."—Betsy Lerner, author of The Bridge Ladies

Less…

Reviews from Goodreads

Victoria Fedden

Victoria Fedden received her MFA in Creative Writing from Florida Atlantic University. Her blog "Wide Lawns and Narrow Minds" was voted 2011's best Humor Blog by the South Florida Sun Sentinel,and her personal essays have been anthologized in I Still Just Want to Pee Alone, Scary Mommy's Guide to Surviving the Holidays, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and My Other Ex. She also regularly contributes to Elephant Journal, and her writing has appeared on Scary Mommy, Babble, and xoJane, among other blogs and websites. She lives with her family in Fort Lauderdale.

image of Victoria Fedden o
Courtesy of the Author

Picador

Latest on Facebook

LATEST ON TWITTER