It’s a little bit funny the way this book found its way on to my shelves. I was exploring at WordPress, browsing “Anglophile” as a tag (Okay, you got me, I’m obsessed!) when I stumbled upon this charming blog called Notes from the U.K.
I fell in love with what Ellen Hawley had to say about her experiences as an American living in the U.K., with the little glimpses into England, and Cornwall in particular, that she shares.
And then I read the “About” page. Oooh. Books! Curiosity piqued. With my birthday approaching (22/2, so, rapidly approaching), I decided last night that I’d treat myself.
Turns out, it was a pretty fantastic treat. I bought the book (Kindle format) last night and could not put it down. And I’m not one of those types who can’t leave a book unfinished, if it’s not engaging.
What I love about The Divorce Diet:
- In what is probably the most awful case of bad timing that one could imagine, our protagonist, Abigail is told by her husband, Thad, on the occasion of his birthday, that their “marriage thing” just isn’t working for him. This, after Abigail has a) purchased and begun attempting to follow a “non-diet”, “Life Journey” (diet!) book because he’s implied she’s not lost the weight she gained during her pregnancy to his satisfaction and b) lovingly prepared a gorgeous birthday dinner and absolutely scrumptious-sounding cake* for him.
- Abigail falls spectacularly on her face straight out of the gate, and along with Rosie, the baby, moves back in with her parents. She’s jobless; she and Thad having determined that she should be a full-time, stay-at-home mother. Everything’s gone straight to hell, and as would be the case for many of us, Abigail handles it all badly. Well, a lot of it badly. What I’m saying here is, she’s human, and I love her for being human.
- Honestly, a large part of what kept me turning those pages was wanting to see how Abigail was going to grow as a person. I wanted to see her heal, to succeed, to find happiness again. That’s what a good storyteller does, in my opinion. They write characters that you care about, and I really feel Ellen Hawley has done this beautifully.
- The story is engaging, the writing is wonderful. It’s clever, it’s witty, it’s funny – even when you’re feeling all the sympathy in the world for a woman who has just had her heart broken.
- *A lot of Abigail’s recipes are right in the back of the book! That was such a fun bonus that I wasn’t expecting, and, as someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience with cooking yet, I’m actually not intimidated by them (instructions are detailed and clear), and I would really love to try them. Also, I laughed right out loud at “1 cup canned chopped tomatoes (They do grow this way; it’s one of nature’s miracles.)”
Next on my reading list: Open Line.