Heroine: Feeling frumpy,
still carrying baby weight
Meet thirty-something Maggie Owens, former journalist turned
stay-at-home-mum of two baby boys.
Maggie loves her life, but lately she
feels disconnected from everything: the "real" world, the one where making
money is all that counts; her "friends" with whom she has nothing in
common save motherhood, and most of all her partner Jake, who has been
very distant while working on several major advertising accounts at once.
And nothing seems to
drive this point home to Maggie as decisively as a chance meeting with an
old girlhood friend, the devastatingly successful, blonde, slender Claire
It is Claire who has made her mark on the world of international
journalism, while Maggie submitted her work to third and fourth rate
publications. But Claire states that she's getting too old for a jetset life and has moved back home to get back to her roots and
hopefully find the man of her dreams, the one who will give her the
family she longs for.
At first Maggie
is thrilled to have her old friend around, but soon a series of
upsetting coincidences leave Maggie wondering if Jake isn't having an
affair with the toned and tan Claire, which in turn leads her to consider
wandering down the garden path herself.
worked for me:
The word craft in this story was excellent; certainly a notch above the
other chick lit books of this nature. Some passages I read more than
once, just to savor the clever construction of the sentences and the
images they portrayed.
stay-at-home mom myself, it was easy for me to slip into Maggie's world of
diapers and spit-up. And I completely understood her struggle with
feeling herself to be somehow less important than the supermoms who
balanced kids with careers.
Size-wise Maggie is never really pinned down to a particular number, we
just know that she feels dumpy and requires clothing designed for ladies
with a "curvier" figure.
What didn't work for me:
weren't particularly deep, but were still fleshed out enough for me to
dislike most of them, with the exception of Jake. I felt sympathetic
for him but really didn't "know" him beyond the fact that he worked a
lot, loved soccer, and adored his family.
and Eating It" truly lives up to its title. The book seemed to be
meant as a "grass is always greener" cautionary faerie tale, but the
author doesn't really explore the moral of the story. The reader
never sees Maggie paying the price for her poor judgment.
Whether it's with a couples therapist or someone who specializes in post
partum depression, Maggie is in need of some serious counseling.
enjoyable read, especially for fans of the current British Chick Lit craze
or admirers of well-constructed prose. However, the plot is so
infuriating that you might miss some of those beautifully written passages
when skimming forward to find out what happens in the
less-than-satisfactory conclusion of this tale.
Warning: there is some coarse
language in this book, as well as some steamy love scenes.
If you liked "Having It and Eating
It" you might also enjoy
"Love at Large",
"Coffee and Kung Fu", "Good in Bed",
"Switcheroo", "Last Chance
Saloon", "Jemima J.", "Bridget Jones's Diary",
and "Getting Over It".
Have you read
this book and have a comment to
make on it? Join a discussion about the book at the Dangerous Curves
or submit a review
to this website.