This is the story of three friends: Emerson Duval, Georgia Sloan and Marley DeFelice. They met at a weight loss camp when they were 17-years old and forged a bond that continued into adulthood. Each woman deals with their body in different ways, all seemingly tied to issues stemming from some form of childhood trauma or body shaming by those who should have loved and nurtured them.
The stories were fascinating as each of the women presented separate insights into the issues surrounding being overweight. We begin with Emerson whose morbid obesity becomes her downfall and we get her story through her journal entries. Despite her own obsession with her weight, we get to know her ideals, hopes and dreams through those entries. She challenges Marley and Georgia to do those things now on a list they created at the camp that outlines all the things they would do when they became “skinny.”
As Marley and Georgia take on the list, they’re forced to confront issues holding them back and keeping them from being their authentic selves. Sometimes the situations were heartbreaking but what resounds so loudly and clearly are the essence of these women. The author gets it right in each circumstance as I’ve either lived some part of their history or lived with someone who grappled with weight.
I found the story brilliant and brave as the author speaks from her own personal experience. You have to read the entire story (some of the critics have cherry picked passages and made assumptions) to truly get the power and triumph of these women. I didn’t grow up with weight issues, but grappled with them as an adult because of the body shaming I experienced in my youth. The negative dialogue in your own head can be even more destructive than others, which only compounds the problem.
This is an important and time relevant story. I’m glad Higgins chose to write it.
(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)