Dietland by Sarai Walker is one of my favorite novels I’ve read this year. This book is tasty, wicked, bizarre, disturbing, and highly entertaining. The protagonist of Dietland is a 300+ pound woman named Alicia (Plum) Kettle.
Plum has lived a life of extreme self-hatred and loneliness. She doesn’t have many friends, she’s never been in a serious, romantic relationship, and her job is anything but glamorous. She also has clinical depression. She believes she will achieve true happiness if she undergoes gastric bypass surgery. While waiting for her upcoming surgery, Plum notices a young woman who has been following her around. Is this woman deliberately following Plum, or is it just her imagination?
What makes this novel so crazy and unique is the unexpected plot twist. There’s an all-female terrorist group (called “Jennifer” of all things) wrecking havoc and “sweet revenge” upon sexually abusive men.How does this weave into Plum’s story? You will have to read and see!
This book deals with some heavy topics such as: eating disorders, fat shaming, sexual violence, pornography, guerilla warfare, and misconceptions about body image/sexual attractiveness in the media. Keep in mind, this book is a satire. It’s definitely not meant to be taken seriously. But you’ll definitely need to have an open-mind while reading “Dietland”. It’s a brutally honest account of how beauty in America (and around the world) is a powerful tool and also emotionally crippling to the female psyche. Don’t let the glossy cover of this book fool you – it’s a killer. But it will empower you!