17.6.11

Book Review: Size Eight in a Size Zero World

Book: Size Eight in a Size Zero World

Genre: Chick Lit/ Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction



Author: Meredith Cagen


Cover Critique:
The cover is so stylish. With fashionable ladies gracing the cover, it perfectly matches the women-centric theme set in the backdrop of posh NYC. Very apt and convincing! It has got this "Ooo la la" factor and I like it!


Review: 

This is a story of a thirty-something married working woman, Lindsay Chandler. She lives on the Upper East Side of New York, in a posh apartment, with two school going children (Kristen and Jake) and her husband, Grant. To complete this picture perfect family, they have a dog as well, named Digby. But the truth is that her life is not as perfect as it looks. Being a misfit among the trophy wives of rich men, she yearns for a life of meaning and a burning desire to fill the vacuum inside her. We see that her relationship with her husband is as chaotic as it can get and we learn that she is extremely unhappy and craves for her husband’s care, love and attention.

On the other hand, her husband does not only have a “don’t give a damn” attitude towards her and kids but is also filled with egotistical male-chauvinistic demands, which he expects (rather orders) Lindsay to fulfil. Lindsay not only performs all household chores but also her job, which do keep her occupied but not enough to fill the emptiness in her married life. When she encounters a handsome bachelor (addressed in the novel as, “The Man Upstairs”) living in the building, she starts to fall for his physical charm, much like a “desperate wife” hungry for attention. An extra-marital affair starts and the reader is taken on a whirlwind of relationship problems, lust, love, temptations, social taboos and a journey of self-discovery for Lindsay.

If you are thinking that it is just another chick lit with a non-serious, superficial story, then you are wrong. The story can be read on many levels. The title serves double meaning: apparent and underlying. The apparent meaning is of course about the physical appearance of Lindsay which does not match the Upper East Side ladies who are thin, one-dimensional and blonde. But underlying meaning would be that she is like an outsider; a misfit in the shallow world of trophy wives.

The novel beautifully narrates the story of a woman who wants to re-invent herself and her failing marriage gives her the golden opportunity to analyse her self-worth and potential. On this journey of self-discovery, with the support of her friends, she finally comes to understand the complicated world of adult relationships and masked personalities which make her realise that she was living in a world of illusions and day-dreams.

The novel is written from the point of view of female protagonist and the opening chapters are filled with her constant whining about house chores, her husband’s indifference to her needs and her wish to land on a better job profile. While Lindsay’s complaints irritated me a little, they did not put me off at all. On the contrary, the novel hooked me from the beginning and made me want to know how her character develops and grows in the coming chapters. As the dilemma of Lindsay’s marital life is laid in front of the reader from the start, the theme of the novel gets wide and clear with all its complexities that are sure to follow.

The writer keeps the chapters short yet meaningful as we witness a whole lot of activity going on from first chapter till the last. So, as the pace does not slow down at any point of the story, it keeps the reader totally absorbed. Half-way through the story, I was so much engrossed in Lindsay’s character, that I could feel and imagine what she was going through in her life. In spite of its mature and complex story line, the writer does not digress from the plot, which is extremely remarkable!

There is also a lot of thought put into the secondary characters. There is quirky Jodee (her friend who is more like her sister), sex-expert Tanya (who is her best friend and a great aunt to her kids), helpful guy Ryan, smart kids, her compulsive mother and a very loud father. While the character of “The Man Upstairs” is complete and original and other characters are also believable, surprisingly the character of Grant is the epitome of all-bad, so much so that it looks fake and plastic! Since the story is told from first person’s POV and the readers see characters from Lindsay’s eye, it is justified to an extent. Overall, it is a smartly written book.

The ending of the book is bound to make you happy, but I will not spoil it for you. Read to find out what she decides for her future life. I will recommend it to all, especially working mothers and housewives who can empathise and maybe even learn something from Lindsay’s story. The readers get a glimpse of modern lifestyle and the changing rules of marital relationships in this social satire. A well-rounded novel which is worth a read!


Review Girl Rating: 8/10


“I would like to thank Meredith Cagen for sending me a free copy of her book, “Size Eight in a Size Zero World” for the purpose of reviewing it on my blog. To know the review rules and policy, click here. To buy this book on Amazon, click here.”


12 comments:

  1. Great review. This sounds interesting.

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  2. @Kelly: Loving your comment! Thanks dear!:)

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  3. Hey Komal! You brought a book of my interest, thnx. I love the book by reading your review about it. Lindsay's character seems to be v appealing as it evaluates by the pace of time.Im impressed by the name of the novel also. The character of Grant is a typical male widely spread around ourselves in the real world of malechauvinism.

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  4. @ankhseojhal: Good to see your comment!:) Thanks so much for liking my review. Yes, Grant's character is of a male chauvinist pig.

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  5. I really love the poise in your reviews.
    I have never read chick lits, nor do I have any immediate plans to but your review has intrigued me to the extent to go for this one.
    I am sure the book must be worth your rating.

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  6. @Anish: Thanks for finding my review helpful and taking time out to comment! Happy reading!:)

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  7. Great review. Thanks. Donna

    http://mylife-in-stories.blogspot.com

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  8. like your review format. This novel shall go on my list, sounds good enough. new follower. check my blog out also. I'm always seeking out blogs that I know i shall return back a peek at.

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  9. @Sidne: Thanks so much for liking my review style and for following me. I checked our your blog and commented as well, also followed. Hope u will return for future posts!:)

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  10. This sounds like an interesting book! I love a good, smart chick lit book!

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  11. @Meg: Yeah, it is good for those who like stories based on mature relationship issues. Lemme know how did u find it, when u r done reading!:)

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