Author: Sarai Walker
Pub Date: May 26th, 2015
My Rating: ★★★★☆
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Synopsis from Goodreads:
The diet revolution is here. And it’s armed.
Plum Kettle does her best not to be noticed, because when you’re fat, to be noticed is to be judged. Or mocked. Or worse. With her job answering fan mail for a popular teen girls’ magazine, she is biding her time until her weight-loss surgery. Only then can her true life as a thin person finally begin.
Then, when a mysterious woman starts following her, Plum finds herself falling down a rabbit hole and into an underground community of women who live life on their own terms. There Plum agrees to a series of challenges that force her to deal with her past, her doubts, and the real costs of becoming “beautiful.” At the same time, a dangerous guerrilla group called “Jennifer” begins to terrorize a world that mistreats women, and as Plum grapples with her personal struggles, she becomes entangled in a sinister plot. The consequences are explosive.
Dietland is a bold, original, and funny debut novel that takes on the beauty industry, gender inequality, and our weight loss obsession—from the inside out, and with fists flying.
I read this book in the best moment, just when I needed it the most, when I felt most vulnerable and this book just spoke to me and understood me. It’s amazing how much the time when you read the book can influence how you understand and like the story. I didn’t read synopsis before reading the book, I just knew the title, how the cover looks like. I’ve also seen some snippets of reviews saying that this is now what you’d expect. And it is so true, this book is not what you could expect if you judge the book by its cover.
Story of Plum in some aspects is very similar to mine. I could very well understand struggle Plum was going through, her struggle with weight, body image and confidence. It was very challenging to read about someone else who has similar struggles, and experience so much compassion for this character, but do not have the same compassion for yourself. I must say it was quite a break through for me to read such book. Everything that happened there regarding body image, weight and society pressure to be one kind of beauty was not news for me. I read about it all before. But I never read about it in a novel that is so powerful, that is taking this to another level. Alongside story of Plum, we have story of changing society. My favorite chapter describes massive changes in British media, where place of objectified and overly sexualized females was taken by man. Now advertisements were full of naked man, not women. It’s amazing how this could change everything. Most memorable point of this particulate chapter was non British male politician who said that he couldn’t possibly go to UK for some very serious European political meeting, when he, as a man is not respected and sexualized there. He felt he couldn’t be taken seriously in such environment. Very telling.
It’s a powerful book that I strongly recommend to everyone. Either it will help you to understand the struggles with you own body image (especially if you’re fat), and may be a starting point of your healing process.