The Divorce Diet, Ellen Hawley
The Divorce Diet, Ellen Hawley
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Literature/fiction, Women’s Fiction
well, seeing some great reviews I had high hopes for this book but sadly its one of those that proves what I’m always saying – not all novels suit all readers. Though it’s a genre I enjoy and a story that sounded fun I didn’t like it..
Abigail, just had a baby, breastfeeding and still very overweight – Gosh who’s not been there…plenty of us have, and I really felt for her when the Jerk husband Thad decides he’s off. She’s gutted, had no idea anything was wrong. Worse is to follow when she finds out why he left. Distraught she ends up back with her parents. Alongside this tragedy we have some bitingly funny comments from her about her diet versus actual food intake, and the imaginary Guru giving her diet and life advice. Sadly though after the tenth of so time I read it the theme was no longer funny, and by the twentieth is was like flogging a dead horse and I just found it irritating – along with Abigail. It seemed to descend into one long monologue of woe. Her diet wasn’t working, Thad wasn’t paying out, the job search was going badly, and the parents – well they did nothing but try to help, and yet she complained she felt like a teen again. At times she reminded me of an aunt that used to visit when I was a child. everyone was fine til Aunt I— turned up,but by the time she left after telling us all her aliments and woes we all felt depressed. Abigail seems like that – she’s sucking those around her into her life. She complains Thad was a food snob, but she went along with it, derides his wanting the big house and expensive furniture, but she was happy to live with that, telling herself how much better than her parents life it was. she moans that Thad never listened to her – and she’s right, he didn’t, but she’s doing the same. She never thinks about what her and Rosie being back has done to her parents life, how they feel, never asks them about it, just takes for granted they’ll be there. When she does find a child-minder the woman deserves a medal after each day when she picks up Rosie, when she goes into detail about all that’s wrong in her life. Every time, every day…never once does she ask the child-minder what sort of day she’s had.
By halfway through I was bored, the humour had worn thin, and nothing really seemed to happen but it did pick up slowly, though I skim read just to see how it ended. I hadn’t the energy to read properly. She does finally pick her life up, and its quite an interesting voyage of discovery, of how she learns she doesn’t need someone to prop her up, a man to rely on, but the right person can be a real gem, someone to share the good times and the bad, to help work forward in life. Sadly the first half spoiled it for me so its not a book I enjoyed. If there had been less of the first half and more of the second I would have enjoyed it but then I’m only a reader, not a writer and already this book has found a slew of readers that love it like it is, hence my opening remarks.
Stars: Two, just hit the wrong buttons for me
ARC supplied by Netgalley and publishers