The Dieter

The Dieter

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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • United Kingdom
  • 0747279918
  • 9780747279914

Review Text

A humorous account of a woman fighting a weight problem develops into a shopworn fable about Taking Charge Of Your Life. Barbara Avers is an affluent, 42-year-old Chicago housewife; husband Franklin is a go-getting lawyer embroiled in a campaign to be State senator. Somehow Barbara has found time to cater to his every whim, raise two kids, and write a weekly consumer-advice column. But things start to fall apart when her best friend Sarajane dies of lung cancer, Barbara quits her three-pack-a-day habit, and her weight soars (Franklin loathes fat women). On her way up (starting at 105, she tops off at 163), Barbara makes a new friend who is on the way down (Kathlyn will lose over 200 pounds, and her fat-fancying hubby, before bottoming out at 120). The ladies sample Weight Watchers and Nutri-Systems before finding what works for them: hypnosis. Meanwhile, Franklin is less and less in evidence, and Barbara is forced to accept that he is cheating on her with his slim blonde PR adviser, and also ripping off his clients, using their insurance claims settlement checks for his campaign funds. Her concern about her weight recedes as, encouraged by a new admirer, a crime reporter called Mac, she overcomes her low self-esteem and goes to bat for the clients, forcing Franklin to pay them (though this entails selling the family home). We leave Barbara at peace, sharing a new relationship of trust and respect with her teen-age kids; they have chosen to live with her rather than their two-timing Daddy, and Barbara can support them through her column, now that it's syndicated. As for her weight, hey, no big deal. It's entirely possible to write a comic novel mixing food and infidelity (remember Ephron's Heartburn?), but this one is flip where it wants to be funny, and trite and sentimental where it wants to be seriously involving. (Kirkus Reviews)show more