Dietland * *, Sarai Walker's debut - is "part Fight Club, part feminist manifesto, an offbeat and genre-bending novel that aims high, and delivers."
Alicia "Plum" Kettle, tipping the scale at 300 lbs. is counting the days when she will become her true, thin self... "she won't be alone all the time... she'll dress in pretty clothes, she'll travel, she'll have a job that she likes", instead of being the closeted advice columnist for a glamor teen magazine, working out of the corner café. After every diet plan imaginable has failed her, Plum is contemplating bariatric surgery. While used to humiliated stares and taunts, she is uneasy when she finds herself being stalked by a odd-looking young woman who leaves her strange little "gifts" that ultimately leads her to a secret society of women responsible for a series of gruesome kidnappings and killings worldwide.
"Hilarious, surreal, and bracingly original, Walker's ambitious debut avoids moralistic traps to achieve something rarer: a genuinely subversive novel that's also serious fun." If I have failed to convince you that this is one debut not to be missed, here is what two of my favorite authors have to say...
"Dietland is a book I have been waiting for someone to write all my life, and it hit me hard right where I live, right where so many of us have wasted too much time living. It's courageous, compassionate, intelligent, pissed off and much more fun than it has any right to be." ~ Pam Houston
"Sarai Walker is an immensely talented writer and her debut novel, Dietland—filled with wit, wisdom and wonder—is a pleasure." ~ Jill McCorkle
For readers who enjoyed The Middlesteins; Where'd You Go, Bernadette; and The Next Best Thing. Ideal for book groups seeking something more socially aware and gender-conscious in their women's fiction.
* * = 2 starred reviews