The romp that’s partly set in a swamp.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
First Published: 12th February 2015
Date Reviewed: 12th February 2015
Millie is in dire straits. She’s got debts to pay off (bailiffs waiting), her daughter is in Papua New Guinea researching periods, and her worries are causing her to add to the weight she already carries about her body. Desperate for money, she agrees to her boss’s proposal of a weight loss pill trial (good for their magazine) and begins a journey that will take her literally miles.
Losing It is Lederer’s highly comedic first novel. It’s all about the situation and the humour but there’s also pause for thought on the impossible demands people place on others.
Millie is desperate, and for this reader at least, the story runs quickly, not unlike Millie once she manages to get her personal trainer under control. Whether you will read it this way cannot be said, but it felt rather appropriate. A lot of the humour is silly – jokes about Papua New Guinea should not be taken seriously and there is the sense that such humour should be viewed in the context of Millie’s mind.
Millie is a very likeable character who is understandably finding it hard to cope with the demands. The daughter who wants her to fly around the globe right this moment because she needs her hair tongs; the editor holding her hostage to weight loss; the too helpful neighbour who wants to join her in the tantric workshop. In an intentionally bizarre world, Millie pulls through. The story may be over the top but Millie is a realistic character. She’s someone any reader will be able to relate to.
The weight loss isn’t easy. The impossible goals set by the zealous diet pill company and the constant lowering of payments mean that whilst Millie often goes to great lengths to loose, and does meet some goals, she understandably fails at times. Lederer shows well the way pressure can impede progress, the way one has to do things for the right reasons. In a book that’s all about the laughter, there is much to be found about empathy.
Losing It takes the weight loss industry, invisible gastric bands, soups no one should be eating, and has fun. It goes to the extreme in a way that allows you to read about a serious subject without feeling at a loss (pun unintended) and has a lot of appeal. Take it with a pinch of salt (more food than Millie’s allowed) and enjoy the journey (better your armchair than three aeroplanes and a dodgy car).
Set aside the carrot sticks and opt instead for this book. The diet pill company would be proud.
Keeping my promise to tell you what was in the bag I received at the party, I can say that the item was a box of ‘pleasure enhancer’ pills for women.
I received this book for review from the author and publisher.