by Liza Palmer

September 2005
ISBN: 0-446-69395-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Warner Books
Trade Paperback

Maggie came home one day to find a bulldozer in her yard and an eviction note nailed to the front door. Maggie was not completely surprised. She already knew her landlady was a bit off.

As a larger-sized woman, learning to dwell in a society of stereotypes and prejudice has been a life-long lesson. One thing she learned was if she didn’t draw attention to herself, stay invisible as much as possible, then she was less likely to be hurt. It wasn’t the life Maggie dreamed of. Nonetheless, it was the life she’d trained herself to live. Learning along side Maggie during her adolescent years was her best friend, Olivia. Olivia was overweight, too. While she could commiserate with Maggie about being the center of everyone’s joke, Olivia had an outgoing nature whereas Maggie preferred to remain hidden. Then one fateful night Olivia was ridiculed one too many times. Humiliated and hurt beyond repair, Olivia immediately made arrangements for gastric bypass surgery. She would be a size two or die trying. Olivia’s singular goal took her away from Maggie. The girls grew further and further apart with less in common between them. Presently, Olivia wanted Maggie to have a role in her wedding to an esteemed doctor. In preparations for the wedding, Maggie has the opportunity to be with her friend. What she witnessed troubles her. Olivia was no longer the same. Maggie, being Maggie, felt it was her duty to salvage their friendship. But at what cost to Maggie? Will Maggie be strong enough to know when enough is enough?

Another problem area for Maggie was her job. Maggie went to college for art restoration. It was one thing she knew she did well. Rejection after rejection replaced passion with self-pity and fear. She would not knowingly put herself through rejection again. As a result, she went to work in a coffeehouse. The one saving grace of the coffeehouse was Domenic Brown: busboy and potential husband material. The worse part was her ex-jock of a boss. Regardless of her feelings about her boss when Maggie’s sister arranged for a meeting at a museum, Maggie was not happy. All she could think was, why would her sister set her up to fail yet again?

This novel has only a thread of romance in it. Liza Palmer focused on the whole picture. She has written an honest account of one woman’s struggle in life. Palmer, in a secondary way, points out that women sabotage their own gender. In this story the reader may find a fragment of herself in Maggie and in so doing, will find a reader’s favorite in author Liza Palmer.

Conversations with the Fat Girl is a candid, sometimes painful, glimpse into Maggie’s way of dealing with life At first, she lets fear rule her. Full of self-pity, Maggie teaches herself to be content with the crumbs of life. Read Conversations with the Fat Girl to find out how Maggie finally learns to take life by the horns and take what she wants.

Reviewed in November 2005 by Rho.

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