THE lead character in Dietland, Plum, is unusual in a novel — she’s fat. She’s unhappy, living a very small life that barely takes her anywhere other than her apartment and her local cafe, where she is embarrassed to be seen eating a scone in public, and she suffers cruel looks and comments.
Dietland takes the idea of ‘fat is a feminist issue’ on a complicated and difficult journey.
Contemplating getting her stomach stapled, Plum thinks when she is thin all her dreams will come to fruition.
However, when she gets sucked into a women’s club, they try to talk her out of the op.
Meanwhile, an activist group called Jennifer rails against a publisher for selling magazines with pictures of naked women’s bodies and, soon, rapists are being thrown out of a plane.
The different take is shocking. The women aren’t meek, seeking approval or a plaything for the boys.
This isn’t chick lit — it’s an antidote.
Atlantic Books, £11.48;
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