Emmy’s life might be the penultimate conundrum. Struggling with her weight for years, she works for Slimmit – a company who’s slogan is, “You’re Fat, and We Know It!” Hidden away in the basement where no one will ever see her because of a performance review that stated she was ‘unacceptably beyond Appearance Policy parameters,’ Emmy handles travel arrangements for a fleet of stunningly (and weirdly – glowing) thin waifs who would make any Stepford Wife commit sepulchu out of shame.
Slimmit – a leader in the weight-loss and regret industry is run by two women who mainline an impressive array of questionable chemical diet pills and purge as if it were their chosen, artistic medium.
Marianne is Slimmit’s Director of Slimming. Thin and beautiful, with a weird penchant for using furniture polish on her hair to make it shine, Marianne’s one goal in life is to make Nicola Darcy, Slimmit’s CEO, fat and miserable.
Nicola Darcy is struggling to keep it together – and by “it” I mean the contents of her stomach and the control of her company. For some reason, she’s taken up binge eating on the weekends – which she tops off with a dose of humiliation and ill-fitting shapewear on Monday morning. This self-made woman is literally coming apart at the seams.
Who hasn’t been through this? The other day, I did a tv interview – which I regretfully dvr-ed and watched (which was followed by complete deletion and a string of expletives that startled the cat). My once, thin (dare I say ‘swanlike?’) neck was missing – in fact, a puffer fish (fully inflated and slightly less lethal) with a goiter appeared where my neck and head had once been. I looked fatnormous.
Women struggle with weight issues – it’s a fact of life, dammit. And that’s why I loved this book – it’s a clever satire on the weight-loss industry with lots of twists and turns and some damn good surprises in the end. There’s corporate espionage, sexual intrigue, celebrities, and a heroine who, like me, enjoys the occasional (okay, okay! Frequent,) pint of Ben & Jerry’s and says, “Tomorrow I’ll eat right and exercise” into a mirror without crying (or swearing creatively).
Catherine Ryan Howard’s book is funny, thought-provoking, suspenseful and utterly relatable. And right now, it’s only 99 cents, sinfully good and 100% calorie free…that is, unless you eat ice cream while reading it…which I did.
Oh well. It was worth it.