Treadmill Reads: Conversations With the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer

Conversations with the fat girl

Synopsis (Goodreads) Everyone seems to be getting on with their lives except Maggie. At 27, she’s still working at the local coffee house while her friends are getting married, having babies, and building careers. Even Olivia, Maggie’s best friend from childhood, is getting married to her doctor boyfriend. Maggie, on the other hand, lives with her dog Solo and has no romantic prospects save for the torch she carries for Domenic, the busboy. Though Maggie and Olivia have been best friends since their fattie grade school years, Olivia’s since gone the gastric-bypass surgery route in hopes of obtaining the elusive size two, the holy grail for fat girls everywhere. So now Olivia’s thin, blond, and betrothed, and Maggie’s the fat bridesmaid. Ain’t life grand? In this inspiring debut novel, Maggie speaks to women everywhere who wish for just once that they could forget about their weight.

My take:   Maggie is every young woman who ever fought the weight battle – every young woman who has never felt comfortable with her body. I understood Maggie and I cheered for her as she started to figure things out with her best friend, her love life, and her job situation.

Conversations With the Fat Girl is filled with interesting characters. From Maggie’s family to her co-workers it was easy to find comparable characters in my own life. I liked most and understood the reason for them all. This is a novel begging to be on the small or large screen. Thank you Liza Palmer for writing Maggie’s story. Once upon a time I was in her shoes.

There’s a reader’s guide included and you can find more information about the author here. I’m looking forward to reading Ms. Palmer’s other books.

  • Title:  Conversations With the Fat Girl
  • Author:  Liza Palmer
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  September 2005 – 5 Spot
  • Source:  I bought it

The Lost Husband by Katherine Center

the lost husband

  • Title:  The Lost Husband
  • Author:  Katherine Center
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  May 2013 – Ballantine Books
  • Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss

Synopsis (publisher):  After the sudden loss of her husband in a car crash, Libby Moran falls on hard times – so hard, in fact, that she’s forced to move in with her hyper-critical mother. There, sleeping on the pull-out sofa so her two children can share the guest room, she can’t stop longing for the life she had. So when a letter arrives from Libby’s estranged aunt offering her a job and a place to live on her goat farm, Libby jumps at the opportunity. But starting over is never easy. With an aunt who is nothing like she imagined, a shaggy farm manager with a tragic past, a psychic at the feed store who claims to be able to contact the dead, and a bully at her daughter’s school, country life isn’t at all what Libby expected. But it also offers her what no other place can: A chance to define the good life for herself. A chance to piece together the mysteries of her own past. A chance, even, at love. And, finally, a chance to bring herself, and her family, back to life.

My take:  I love Katherine Center’s novels. They are wonderfully relatable, funny and heartstring tuggers. Her latest, The Lost Husband, is no exception. When it comes down to it, Libby is every woman. Like I said, relatable. Life hasn’t turned out the way she expected yet, despite that fact, she keeps trying her darnedest to keep her family moving forward.

The offer to move to her aunt’s goat farm comes at the right time. She knows she can’t keep living with her domineering mother if she has any hope of a life. A fresh start in new surroundings is just what she and her two young children need. And a new life is exactly what they get.

From her eccentric and loving aunt, to the nice yet mysterious farm manager, to the interesting young woman at the feed store, Libby’s new life is populated with strange but caring people. And they’re all doing their best to move forward as well.

Center is a gifted storyteller and I loved this one. It’s a story of hope and never giving up – trying your hardest even in the darkest moments. Because when all is said and done – it’s worth it. Loved it. Highly recommended.

Changing Lanes by Kathleen Long

changing lanes

  • Title:  Changing Lanes
  • Author:  Kathleen Long
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  May 2013 – Amazon Publishing
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Abby’s life is rolling along as planned. She writes a nice column for a newspaper, her wedding to Fred is scheduled in a few months time, and they just bought a cute little fixer-upper Victorian house in her home town. Yes, life is rolling along until things skid to a complete stop. In the blink of an eye the newspaper cuts her column, Fred decides he needs some space, and Abby gets the news that the cute little Victorian is really a termite hotel.

It’s a good thing Abby planned to move back to her home town. Instead of moving into the fixer-upper with Fred she moves back to her parents’ home. That’s where the story really takes off. I loved Abby’s family. Her parents, two sisters, and grandmother are unique and sparkling characters who moved the plot and kept the story interesting. She also reconnects with the man next door – formerly the boy next door – who happens to be living with his mother (for good reason).  They all help Abby figure out that life is best lived in the moments, the here and now.

I enjoyed Changing Lanes. Its a sweet, light novel about appreciating what’s truly important in life. I look forward to reading Kathleen Long’s next book.