This story centres around four women who bond over an online weight-loss forum. Mezz, a small-town doctor, is embarrassed about her weight and worried it could be affecting both her career and her marriage. Jewels runs a thriving cupcake business and has a great relationship with husband Matt but she desperately hopes that losing weight will help her conceive a much-wanted child. Ellie has transferred to Canberra from England to be with her girlfriend, who moves in political circles. She’s not totally happy with her new life though, stagnating in her art career and piling on the kilos. Kat is a Bosnian refugee who is estranged from her family. And her relationship with her partner – and father of her daughter Ami – is not looking too solid either.
This is a great story, with authentic characters who are dealing with a multitude of issues that many readers will relate to. The narrative flowed effortlessly, and the forum posts were tied in nicely. I also appreciated that each character dealt with their weight problems in their own different ways. The only negative: that the storyline for Kat took a turn that has become all too common in women’s contemporary fiction – one I was hoping wouldn’t eventuate from the very first signal.
The Shape of Us, by Australian author Lisa Ireland, centres around four women trying to lose weight. The summary says: "Four different women. The same big problem. One magical solution?
Despite excelling at university, Mezz has ended up the second-choice doctor in a two-doctor town, and won't be winning Mother of the Year any time soon. Miserably overweight, she knows it's only a matter of time until her gorgeous husband starts to stray...
Jewels runs a successful business and lives in her dream house. All she needs to make life complete is a baby. She'll do anything to lose weight and become a mother ... just as soon as the Tim Tams are finished.
Ellie's life looks perfect on Facebook. But unlike the sunny snapshots, her world in Canberra is dull: she left everything behind in London, and the woman she sacrificed her life for is hardly ever home. Her ever-increasing waistline is testimony to just how small Ellie's life has become.
Kat's baby is her world. As a Bosnian refugee, she wants nothing more than a stable, happy life for Ami, but Kat's relationship with Ami's dad is collapsing. If she could just lose the 'baby weight' maybe Josh would look at her the way he used to.
When Mezz, Jewels, Ellie and Kat meet in an online weight-loss forum, a common goal accelerates their friendship. As the kilos start to disappear but their problems don't, they begin to realise that weight-loss might not be the key to happiness, but that supporting and believing in the ones you love, and yourself, just might be ..." The Shape of Us is out in March 2017.