Title: Conversations with the Fat Girl
Author: Liza Palmer
Format: Paperback/eBook, 353 pages
Publication: Sept. 7h 2007 by Forever
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives except Maggie. At twenty-seven, she's still serving coffee at Joe's while her friends are getting married, having babies, and thriving in their careers. And now Olivia, Maggie's best friend since grade school, is getting married too. The man in Maggie's life? Well there isn't one, except the guy she has a crush on, Domenic, who works with her at the coffee shop. Oh, and her dog, Solo (the name says it all).
When Olivia comes to town and asks Maggie to be her maid of honor, Maggie is thrilled... but she can't help comparing herself to the new and "improved" Olivia. Way back then, they befriended each other because they both struggled with their weight. Now grown up, Maggie is still shopping in the "women's section" while Olivia went and had gastric-bypass surgery in search of the elusive size 2. But as the wedding nears, Olivia's seemingly perfect life starts to unravel, and Maggie realizes that happiness might not be tied to a number on the scale.
In this wonderful novel, Liza Palmer is both witty and wise, giving a voice to women everywhere who have ever wished they could stop obsessing... and start living.
My life is about never putting myself into that situation. I never call attention to myself. That is the code I live by.
At twenty-seven Maggie is still working at Joe's coffee shop, it was just supposed to be while she applied for jobs after college, a week away from being evicted from the house she rents, and starting to feel cracks in the friendship with her bestfriend Olivia. Her mother and sister are trying to gently push her towards a dream internship and to stand up for herself with Olivia, while all Maggie wants to do is be there for her bestfriend as Olivia lives out their highschool dream wedding and quietly lust after Domenic, the bus boy at Joe's.
Conversations with the Fat Girl is a contemporary fiction snippet of life look at how we slowly let societal expectations dictate who we become and how we think about ourselves and the strength and courage it takes to live caring and true to yourself.
Should it worry me that even in my fantasy, the man is getting married for love but I just don't want to be alone anymore?
Told in first person pov from Maggie, the casual, funny, hurts because it's true tone and style drew me in and wrapped me up in Maggie's world. Maggie's always been on the heavier side but the last couple years she's put on more weight and has been slipping into a more lonely life. With Maggie's mom and sister physically looking so different from her, it could have been a ground zero for her pain but the author created a solid family bond that while on the edges can bother Maggie, her relationship with the two ultimately give her love and support. I thought Maggie hurting because she felt lonely but thinking of her family and realizing she may be lonely but she wasn't alone was one of the best moments in the book.
The friendship with Olivia was for the most part at the center of the story, they bonded throughout school with being the outcasts because of their appearance but had a friendship that felt real and it was heartbreaking as the reader sees it breaking apart, before Maggie can even admit it to herself. I thought it was an honest look at how relationships grow and how Maggie feared letting go of a constant in her life. The other secondary characters that included Maggie's co-workers and Olivia's friends were at times rounded out enough to fill out Maggie's world and at others frustratingly left vague (her landlord, Cole the manager at Joe's) or caricature vapid (Olivia's friends).
Dominic is resting his arms on the top of the doorjamb into the bedroom. I know his mouth is moving, but I can't quite make out the words over the roaring fantasies of him standing like that.
I would call this more of a women's fiction than romance but we do have some back and forth and tension with one of Maggie's co-workers, Domenic. We don't get a pov from Domenic, which made some of his actions extremely frustrating as readers are left in the dark along with Maggie about his thoughts and feelings. The author adds in some clues through his body language but for the most part, he was a tough character to crack. When they are together Maggie and Domenic had cute chemistry but just don't expect a strong romance or clear happily ever after as this is solidly Maggie's story.
I finally see myself in the harsh light of that training room. I've convinced myself that I'm unlovable, untouchable, and invisible. But is the reality that there is someone out there for me who will know exactly what it takes to comfort me? That all I need to do is allow it?
This will make you laugh and hurt as Maggie's sense of humor about herself and life is appreciating and depreciating. The first half is more of learning how and why Maggie is in a rut and all the ways she's scared to get out of it and the second half has her waking up to the fact that she is not only hiding from the pain of life but also the joys. Maggie's not a flawless character, she makes fun of a woman's appearance and admits she plays the victim role at times, but Maggie and her story are about evolving and growing out of these attitudes and actions. I enjoyed the friendships she had, hurt for her, cheered her on, and hope Olivia eventually gets the courage Maggie develops. Conversations with the Fat Girl was a draw you in story and I hope everyone leaves it with a little more confidence and a little less apology attitude in their own lives.
What's worse than sitting here now---alone and tormented by my own safe and comfortable life?