Watermelon

Watermelon - Marian Keyes Count me underwhelmed--nay, irked. I tried this because it was recommended on The Ultimate Reading List under the chicklit section. Well, I'm beginning to suspect that with the rare exception (so far, Bridget Jones' Diary) this isn't the kind of book for me. So many of them strike the same tone--overly chirpy obsessed with dress size and the mating game but without the satiric edge of Bridget Jones' Diary or it's ability to make me laugh-out-loud. The book is centered on Claire Walsh--her husband left her on the same day as their child was born, and she returns to her family in Dublin with the babe in arms. This is all told in first person--and a good first person depends on voice--either one that is strong and colorful or at least one that disappears well so what you get is story. Claire's voice unfortunately grated on me--repetitive, one-note, whiny. And the title "Watermelon." It's because it's how she sees herself--as "fat" at only size 14 (adjusted to American sizes I'm sure). Let me tell you, size 14 is not fat. It's average. But Claire goes on and on about how fat she is and without the irony of a Bridget Jones. When she isn't going on and on and on about her weight, or talking about her constant drinking, it's all how she can't understand how her husband could leave her like that. Repetitively. Annoyingly. Predictably. We have to go through the Stages of Grief by the numbers with denial, sadness, anger and acceptance. By the time James shows back up, were it not for the poor abandoned newborn, I think my sympathies would have been completely with him, so much had I grown to dislike Claire.