I was hungry both for some food and a good read the day I spied Suzanne Supplee’s book, Artichoke’s heart.  How can you not be drawn to a book that uses decadent chocolate pieces to entice the reader?!    

Plus size people have a lot more to deal with than just their weight. Many people look at them as if they were stupid, lazy, slobbish, out-of-control, or greedy. Obese kids at school often are made fun of. The ramifications can be felt for a very long time. Rosemary Goode is a big girl, she tips the scale at anywhere been 195 and 203. Everybody has an opinion on her weight too – her mom, her aunt, people at the beauty shop she works at both customers and employees and classmates. Self help books are scattered through her house to help her and a treadmill is camped out in her room thanks to ‘Santa”.  

Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight or break a bad habit knows that they have to do it for themselves and not for someone else.  The tipping point for Rosemary came over Christmas break when she gained some weight and was no longer able to fit in even the largest of the large clothing she owned. Going back to school after break and being made fun of by the Bluebirds, the ultra popular group, is going to suck if she can’t find anything to wear.  If that is not bad enough her mother’s hacking cough seems to be much more than just a cold and she is worried.  On a good note, the guy she was completely crushing on, Kyle, a really cute jock, actually smiled at her and a a girl who she never dreamed of being friends with turns to her for advice and comfort.  Suddenly Rosemary is seeing possibilities and the change that everyone wanted her to make was now being done for herself.

While technically the book is about Rosie and her struggles with her weight, the underlying theme of the book is family, friendship and love. I loved Rosie and found it easy to relate to her.  Something can be learned from every character you meet in this book. My heart just felt like bursting with song when Kyle told Rosemary “well…when you look at a person’s eyes or her smile, you can’t tell how much she weighs.” Now tell me this guy is not a keeper….. I think this book would be a good selection for a mother/daughter book club. Overall, this is a nice story about finding self-esteem and gaining the strength to take charge of one’s life.

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