Pages - 465
Republished by Simon and Schuster.
Book obtained via Net Galley
Meet Dolores Price. She's 13, wise-mouthed but wounded, having bid her childhood goodbye. Stranded in front of her bedroom TV, she spends the next few years nourishing herself with the Mallomars, potato chips, and Pepsi her anxious mother supplies. When she finally orbits into young womanhood at 257 pounds, Dolores is no stronger and life is no kinder. But this time she's determined to rise to the occasion and give herself one more chance before she really goes under.
This book is my first Do Not Finish of the year. To be honest, I am quite disappointed with myself for not finishing. I read over half of the book and the writing itself was beautiful and extremely poignant at times. However the book is filled to the brim with misery and complete unhappiness. I have never ever read a book that has depressed me more.
Dolores begins her life with such promise, but as her world of stability crumbles around her, her own view of life and herself changes dramatically. She begins to view herself as worthless after the heartbreaking events that affect her life. I don't think I have ever felt so sorry for a character. If there was a freak lightening storm, Dolores would be struck down by lightening, she appears to be that unlucky. As she grows up, things just keep deteriorating until she reaches a stage in her life where she becomes ridiculed for her weight. By this point, I found I couldn't endure any more of this poor child's misery and I can only hope by the end of the book her life finally turns around, because if it doesn't, I can only see one solution that will free her from such misery - suicide.
Wally Lamb writes from the female perspective and I thought he did that extremely well. Not once did I find myself questioning the way Dolores behaved or spoke.
I gave this book three stars because even though I struggled to finish it, what I did read I couldn't fault. I just personally couldn't cope with the misery this character suffered any more. It definitely wouldn't stop me reading more of this author's work and one day I may be able to revisit this book and find that I don't get so involved in the character's grief. However for the time being, this book really wasn't for me.