Originally published: 16 April 2020
Author: Carmel Harrington
Published by: HarperCollins
Length: 400 pages
Reading dates: 11-12 April 2020
Greta Gale, the star of this book has played the part of the funny fat one her entire life, hiding her insecurities behind a big smile.
Greta has always been a huge fan of another Greta Gale, her American namesake who is a famous life coach in the US. After a trip to rehab to sort out a sleeping tablet addiction, her Uncle surprises her with an unexpected road trip from Dublin to Las Vegas. Greta starts to question if you need to be the perfect size to love yourself. Or to fall in love. Because sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear shaped.
What an absolute treat this was! Greta was a great character – warm and funny and I’d love to have her for a friend. I really felt for her when she was struggling with her weight and her appearance. I was surprised the book took a slightly darker turn quite early on when Greta ends up in rehab for a sleeping pill addiction as this wasn’t alluded to in the blurb but I thought it was handled well – not too dark and gritty but realistic.
But my favourite bit was when they arrived in America. Greta’s favourite film is The Wizard of Oz (she shares her surname with the character Dorothy Gale) and they start their road trip in Kansas so they can take in The Wizard of Oz museum. Along their way to Vegas they pick up a few waifs and strays, a little like Dorothy and her trip along the yellow brick road. I loved the descriptions of the places they visited – it made me feel like I was along for the ride!
There are some great characters in this book – her mum is especially funny and I love how she dresses up for Facetime calls and to visit Greta in rehab. Her Uncle Ray who she is very close to is also just lovely – he loves and supports Greta unconditionally and as we find out more of his back story, I really wanted him to get a happy ending. The characters all go on a journey – both physically and emotionally and they felt real.
The writing in My Pear Shaped life is just brilliant – I haven’t read any of Carmel Harrington’s other books but I will definitely be looking out for them. The humour in her characters is just lovely and she reminded me a little of Marian Keyes and the families she features in her books. I think every woman who has every had a hang up about their body will identify with this book and there are some important messages. The perfect feel-good book for this time – an absolute joy, I flew through it.
Thank you to Anne Cater for inviting me on the tour and to Ellie at HarperCollins for a proof copy! Take a look at the other great bloggers below.
About the author:
Carmel Harrington is an internationally published novelist from Co. Wexford, where she lives with her family. She has published seven novels and been shortlisted twice (2016 & 2017) for an Irish Book Award. Her books have captured the hearts of readers worldwide and are published in eight languages to date. She is co-founder of The Inspiration Project and was Chair of Wexford Literary Festival from 2015 – 2018