Pear Shaped by Stella Newman
|Pear Shaped by Stella Newman|
|Genre: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Intelligent women's fiction with a great story and a thought-provoking look at body image and who it should matter too. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: January 2012|
|External links: Author's website|
One night Sophie was out with her friend Laura. They met a couple of men and there was an immediate chemistry between Sophie and James Stephens. He was good looking, charismatic, great fun and obviously attracted to Sophie. The fact that he was rich (complete with Maserati) didn't matter to her - but it didn't do any harm either. What's not to like? Well, there's nothing 'not to like' but just the odd thing that might give some pause for thought. He's forty five and never been married - and has a history of dating super-slim models. But - he is obviously very taken with Sophie and she falls head-over-heels for him.
There weren't warning bells but James was just a little elusive - but then businessmen do have to do quite a bit of travelling. Sophie never quite knew where she stood. Were they an item? Or not? Gradually she became more confident about the relationship - but then the first niggles crept in. James was used to the model body and sometimes, well, he just didn't fancy Sophie. But then other times he did. In the end it came down to the fact that he 'couldn't get past her weight'. Are we talking about the lady who sings at the end of the show? No - we're talking about someone who occasionally finds her size twelve cords just a little snug but sometimes is down to a size eight.
Of course this is not helped by Sophie's job. She works as a pudding developer for a major supermarket and that involves quite a lot of eating. And what do you do when your confidence is at rock bottom? Obviously - you eat.
A wet winter's afternoon demands a book like this. You settle down somewhere warm and let the book wrap itself round you. Sophie is gorgeous - feisty, intelligent and funny, but thick as two short planks when it comes to James Stephens. Anyone who has ever been besotted by a man will recognise the scenario. Maybe if you tried that little bit harder. Maybe you're boxing above your weight. Maybe you don't deserve him? I didn't look up from this book until I was more than half-way through - and sometimes I was just about shouting at Sophie. Yep - I was totally involved in this story.
Add to that the food background. There's a continuum between eating to live and living to eat. I'm right at the latter end of it - and occasionally dropping off the scale. And this book is about good food - not the fine dining you see on Masterchef, but the the real food that we all eat on a daily basis. Stella Newman knows food - just have a look at her blog and you'll see what I mean. You'll understand why the desserts in M&S are so gorgeous and why others so often seem like pale immitations and you'll start to look very carefully at the lists of ingredients before you buy. Normally this is the point at which I'd say that you really shouldn't read this book if you're on a diet - but I've got a better idea.
Unless you're on a diet for medical reasons - forget it. Accept yourself as you are and stop weighing yourself. This might be women's fiction (no - not chick-lit: it's much more intelligent than that) but ultimately it's about self-image. How you look only matters to one person and if you need to change it then you need to work out why. Love yourself.
Yep - I enjoyed the book. I was glad that the weather was really too bad to venture out. It's also left me with some good thoughts for food and plenty of food for thought. Definitely recommended.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag. If this book appeals then you will love Heartburn by Nora Ephron.
You can read more book reviews or buy Pear Shaped by Stella Newman at Amazon.co.uk.
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