The Ugly Duckling Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Ugly Duckling

Nell Calder was a plain nobody wife and mother, who married a rich somebody. Her husband was a rich financier and they lived an elegant international lifestyle, along with their young daughter.
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Tragedy stuck as a hitman targets her husband the night of a lavish party. Nell also becomes a victim. She is stabbed and thrown from the balcony. Her face is so badly marred and her body so broken, she almost dies.

After a long, arduous recovery, Nell learns that her attacker is still out there. She wants him to pay for destroying her life and uses her hatred to help speed her recovery. Although determined, she knows this is not enough and finds she isn't physically capable. A trainer helps her body become a killing machine and now she is a new women. She is no longer an ugly duckling.

The review of this Book prepared by Tracey Ray

Nell Calder was an ordinary plain housewife, grateful to have a handsome husband moving up in the business world.   Her world is changed forever however, when intruders invade her husband's fancy dinner party and murder him and their four year old daughter. Nell was brutally attacked also, and should have died, but she managed to survive. But it didn't matter anymore since her family was dead.

Then enters Nicholas Tanek. An ex criminal of sorts, he explains to Nell that the man who killed her family worked for Gardeaux, a distributor of the Columbian drug cartel.   The police are satisfied to just say that terroists were responsible that night because Gardeaux even has some in the police force working for him. Tanek is determined to protect Nell from Gardeaux because she's supposed to be dead. And he hasn't quite figured out the reason why she would be on his death list. Tanek promises to help Nell find the man who killed her daughter. Out for revenge, Nell has a new lease on life, and all under the protection of a new face the plastic surgeon has given her. No one will recognize her now.
The review of this Book prepared by Marie Morris

Chapter Analysis of The Ugly Duckling

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 50%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   very upbeat Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   vigilante getting revenge General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   evil corporation/rich guy If story PRIMARILY about main chr. being hunted...    -   hunted by killer/stalker Is Romance a MAJOR (25%+) part of story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   homemaker Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American Unusual characteristics:    -   Super sensitive soggy jelly muffin


Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Island?    -   Yes Island:    -   on vacation Misc setting    -   resort/hotel    -   fancy mansion

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   very gorey references to deaths/dead bodies and torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of sex Unusual forms of death    -   poisoning    -   dropped from large heights Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Iris Johansen Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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