You’re glowing post-treatment and congratulating yourself on a day spent without so much as a glance at your iPhone, now the only thing left to complete your spa day is a good read to enjoy by the pool … Editor, Bonnie Friend settles down with Alison Sherlock’s new book, The Desperate Bride’s Diet Club …
When I was first told that The Desperate Bride’s Diet Club was headed my way, I was more than a little reserved – who wants to read about women who are unhappy with their bodies while you are lounging by the pool? As if any of us need a reminder! … But no sooner had the paper confection, complete with pink hearts, bridal dresses and chocolate cake landed on my desk than the office oestrogen levels sky rocketed and girls flocked to find out more.
The book follows the story of overweight protagonist and bride-to-be, Violet Saunders, who is desperate to lose weight for her impending nuptials to a man who soon appears to be one of the most tooth-grindingly irritating human beings on the planet (and probably also the kind that many of us are familiar with).
Struggling with low self esteem she finds comfort in food – particularly of the gooey, chocolate cake variety and contemplating a whole host of faddy extremes that historically have never worked for her or anyone else, she soon makes her way to a diet club where the group leader is a vicious representation of the dieting industry’s worst offenders. It is here however, that she also meets other people, of a variety of age groups and backgrounds, but with one common goal – to lose weight, and thus her journey begins.
Naturally there are some romantic twists and turns to satisfy the girly imagination but the story rests on self discovery, friendship and a charming level of pragmatism. Violet’s thoughts and problems are relatable for everyone, with one dieting colleague commenting tearfully – “she’s me!” There is humour in the references, realism in the worries, concerns and solutions and indulgence in the surprisingly accessible outcome. It is not about miracles, and size zero aspirations, Sherlock is refreshingly damming about faddy diets and also addresses the notion that being your ideal weight won’t make you happy, but correcting an unhealthy lifestyle might give you the confidence to address the things that you are unhappy about. So motivational are Sherlock’s prose in fact that another colleague who has a profound suspicion of fast speed exercise was inspired to go out for a run after she finished reading!
Happily the book does something that very few things can claim they achieve – it delivers on all the promises that the cover has to offer – allowing a moment of unadulterated, romantic escapism (any boy spa-goers – I probably wouldn’t recommend this one, despite the presence of a household appliance-fixing, cricket-playing male dieter) combined with a happy dose of accessibility, giving you that utterly spa appropriate, feel good factor that all good fairytales have in common … a little bit of faith.
The Desperate Bride’s Diet Club is out TODAY! To be in with a chance to win one of five copies, head to our Facebook page before midday tomorrow and tell us your one diet demon – what food can you simply not resist?
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