Helllllllo readers, a wonderful romantic story for you today and one that I cannot bloody wait to share with you. I’ve been on a book borrowing hype, stealing into the library to grab new books, but this one, this one I will have to buy a copy of. ‘Chick-lits,’ and me have fallen out over the years; daft females, one layer men (with a six pack obvs) who we’re supposed to swoon over and often enough tackiness to cause me to hurl the book at the nearest wall. Give me strength goddamn it. Then I read something that I fall in love with, read in one sitting and stay up till one in the morning stuck thinking about. If you want praise I waited for a bus on a Sunday evening after travelling for nearly six hours, because I knew I would have more time to read it instead of hailing a taxi. That’s book love. Seriously.
A novel about love, heartbreak and dessert.
Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl loses mind.
Sophie Klein walks into a bar one Friday night and her life changes. She meets James Stephens: charismatic, elusive, and with a hosiery model ex who casts a long, thin shadow over their burgeoning relationship. He’s clever, funny and shares her greatest pleasure in life – to eat and drink slightly too much and then have a little lie down. Sophie’s instinct tells her James is too good to be true – and he is. An exploration of love, heartbreak, self-image, self-deception and lots of food. Pear-Shaped is in turns smart, laugh-out-loud funny and above all, recognizable to women everywhere.
My plan here is to sell you this book in under 800 words because I have a feeling that I could talk and talk about this tale. Stella Newman’s book Pear Shaped is the stunning tale of Sophie Klein who, in early thirties falls for someone who seems to be the perfect guy. Strongly built, a little older, and with a raucous sense of humour the two fall for one another. Well she does. As the relationship continues, Sophie’s belief that James is too good to be true starts to come true, and his often bad-mannered and undermining comments about her imaginary extra weight and his need to hold her at arm’s length causes our wonderful main character to take a tumble to rock bottom. As she struggles to come to terms with her seemingly broken relationship and her broken self-esteem we see Sophie grow and flourish will her and James kiss and make-up? Gah.
What I adored most about this book and what didn’t expect is that the narrative really revolves around this unhealthy relationship and how it can cause such detrimental effects on young women. However, it doesn’t preach or rely on clichés, but instead takes a very human and honest look at characters flaws and the ways that people can grate when placed in such a close or here, a distant relationship. I thought the way that Newman dealt with the characters was terribly grown-up; James at no point is made to seem vile but instead what he is, the good and also what he isn’t, the bad. The story focuses almost wholly on Soph and I adored that. I’m not going to focus too much technically but the writing is flawless. Full of humorous anecdotes, wonderfully honest quips, delectable descriptions of food and real understanding of how to weave storylines; Sophie works as a ‘Pudding Queen,’ making chilled desserts for supermarkets and the interesting complex relationships of the office work place and a number of her friends including Pete and Laura (who was my second favourite character; everyone needs a friend as like her) were wonderful.
Sophie is a stunning character; her struggle is both uplifting and also heart-breaking and as she breaks down to such a low level I felt a serious feeling of dread. She has such spirit and yet she is terribly insecure, she’s ruthless, genuine and wholesome and yet also clueless. She’s everything you want in a character and I adored her, seriously. We need more of this writing in romantic genred books. Get rid of the dusty, clichéd characters and make more Sophie’s, please I beg you. The book focuses on the importance of knowing one’s self and appreciating that person over the qualms of love and desire. The constant underlying feeling of Sophie trying to understand her feelings and her gut helps to make it feel all the more real and I know that I definitely found myself nodding along.
I’ve got forty one words left damn it; in a sentence I laughed, I cried, I teared up a little in happiness. I found such utter happiness reading this book and I think you will to. Go, get, now.
Additionally I can fill in my first square on my Summer Reading Bingo Chart with the square ‘With food as the theme.