Is there any American woman alive who does not have an issue or two about her weight? You get points if you still manage to feel good about yourself at least some of the time, right?
In GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, we meet 3 women who meet as teens attending a weight-loss camp. As the years fly by, best friends Georgia and Marley share a duplex in a small city an hour north of Manhattan. The other gal, Emerson, has been living in Delaware. Tragically, she has become morbidly obese and in the second chapter we learn she has died.
Emerson leaves behind a slim envelope to be opened after her funeral. In it are her wishes for Georgia and Marley. Actually it is a list entitled “Things We’ll Do When We’re Skinny” that the three friends made years ago at camp. Among the poignant entries: eating dessert in public, going running in tight clothes and a sports bra, holding hands with a cute guy in public, etc.
At first, Georgia and Marley balk at the very idea of the list made so many years ago. But because Emerson never got to do most of the things skinny people take for granted, the two remaining grownup campers do their best to take on the challenge.
In alternating chapters, we grow familiar with the lives of personal chef Marley and lawyer turned-nursery school teacher Georgia. Each has different attitudes towards cultural norms about relative fatness. Occasionally we are also privy to a diary poor Emerson left behind in which she addresses her thoughts to “Other Emerson,” the thinner person she wished she could be.
A friend gave me this book to take along on a long flight home from our annual girlfriend reunion, and at first glance, I wasn’t sure it would be a novel I would enjoy. I prejudged it as somewhat fluffy.
But it was well worthy of my reading time. One rule of librarianship I learned long ago is that no one should have to apologize for their reading tastes! If my friend loved the book, I was going to give it a try.
Anyway, I full-out fell for this novel.
It brought up so many issues women have with their bodies. Also brimming with themes related to family, romance, work, and friendship, it quickly became a compulsive read. Even with all I already know about how women feel about body weight, the book was an eye opener, a sort of fictional Fat-Like-Me expose.
The Readers Guide is readymade for book clubs and weight loss groups. I can imagine some really lively and empathetic discussions taking place around this (ultimately) heartwarming book. Try it – you might like it.
Keddy Ann Outlaw
A librarian for nearly 30 years, Keddy is also a veteran reviewer for Library Journal. Formerly an art major, she’s now busy making mixed media collages, prints and assemblages, and posting as “The Lone Star Librarian” on her website, Speed of Light.