by Stella Newman
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Kindle Edition: 344 pages
Kindle Price: $2.99
Girl loses boy.
Girl loses mind.
Sophie Klein walks into a bar one Friday night and her life changes. She meets James Stephens: charismatic, elusive, and with a hosiery model ex who casts a long, thin shadow over their burgeoning relationship. He’s clever, funny and shares her greatest pleasure in life – to eat and drink slightly too much and then have a little lie down. Sophie’s instinct tells her James is too good to be true – and he is.
An exploration of love, heartbreak, self-image, self-deception and lots of food. Pear Shaped is in turns smart, laugh-out-loud funny and above all, recognizable to women everywhere.
Pear Shaped begins as an entertaining read with a main character that is fun, confident and completely relatable. Sophie Klein is a Jewish gal in her early thirties living in London and working a dream job as a pudding developer. However, the minute she meets a man named James her life takes a downward spiral, though it takes a while for her to finally realize two things; one, he’s a total idiot that will never commit to one woman and two, she needs to ditch the loser and move on with her life. Honestly, I found it quite irritating that the book description basically gives away the entire story and tells you that he is too good to be true. “Girl meets boy. Girl loses boy. Girl loses mind… Sophie’s instinct tells her James is too good to be true – and he is.”
“Food equals love, too much food equals Jewish love.” I loved this quote; Jewish culture and holidays are all about the food, and the people! I could relate to her mother’s advice in her head telling her that James is going to be exactly what he says he’s not; meaning he will be a liar and a cheat. It irritates me that she spends an inordinate amount of time in an ambiguous relationship with him, even though her instinct is telling her that he’s not worth her time. From reading the book description you know that he’s going to turn out to be an asshole, it’s just a matter of when she figures it out and how she proceeds with the realization. I was disappointed that it took her so long to finally walk away from the toxic relationship, though it was realistic, as many women stay in relationships much past their expiration dates with losers that weren’t worth their time to begin with.
I identified and related with Sophie towards the beginning of the novel; she’s a confident and intelligent individual with a major sweet tooth. She books up her ‘diary’ in advance and is uncomfortable with uncertainty in plans. Like me, she doesn’t like making a generalized plan that doesn’t get confirmed until a few hours prior to the event happening. This character trait of Sophie’s is part of the reason I was surprised that she continued to be involved with James for so long. After a certain point in time, you have to realize that your relationship isn’t important to him and move on with your life.
I despised James’ character and I did not enjoy watching Sophie waste her time with such a douchebag. I’m sorry, but if a guy you’re dating tells you that he thinks you’re fat and isn’t sure if he’s attracted to you for a long-term relationship, you run! To make matters worse, he complains that she’s too heavy, all while sitting around with a big huge beer gut; hypocrisy at it’s worst. You don’t sit around and waste more time thinking that maybe he’s right or that you should be doing something differently, when you were perfectly happy with yourself before he came along.
Although I found the book to be a bit slow and irritating to read, there were many aspects of the storyline that were entertaining and relatable and somewhat redeemed itself with it’s humor and important life lessons. It wasn’t my favorite novel, but it did have it’s moments of laugh-out-loud humor with a possible happily ever after.
Writer, eater & author of ‘Pear Shaped’ and ‘Leftovers’