Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Husband Diet by Nancy Barone

3.5 Star

Erica Cantelli’s life feels more suffocating than a size 4 dress.

On the surface she’s maintaining the image of successful career woman, perfect wife and a doting mother with two wonderful children.

In reality she’s running out of hours in the day; 6 dress sizes bigger than she wants to be; and the only man who shows her any affection is her gay best friend. 

In fact fantasizing about how to kill her increasingly disinterested husband is just about all that keeps Erica sane. That and a whole different type of fantasizing about the incredibly handsome new school principal, Julian Foxham. 

When her husband jokes about trading her in for two size tens, Erica knows something has to change. But is another diet really the answer? Or is getting rid of him the fastest path to happiness? Now if she could only stop thinking about the gorgeous Mr Foxham…

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

The Husband Diet has all the makings of a funny, down to earth book about a disastrous love followed by finding “the one”.  It’s not going to really take you down any unexpected paths but I really enjoyed the novel for a number of reasons.

Firstly, Erica’s husband is a pig and there’s no reason at all to like him. Because this is clear from the get go we’re not messing around trying to see what she saw in him and we’re free to accept her quick transition to dream man Julian without feeling any judgement.  Secondly, Erica’s children are lovely and her relationship with them is sweet and loving- Barone did a wonderful job fitting them into the story and they were charming.  Actually all the personalities in this story were good - they were realistic and fit well in the plot and they were given enough back-story (for the most part) to make us like them.

I have a few little problems with the book though and it did take away from a rave review unfortunately. There were occasionally some leaps between the end of a chapter and the start of the next - the subject matter would change abruptly and I kept looking back to see if I’d skipped a page. I often found the start of the new chapter to be a bit like filler - to keep us up to date on the rest of Erica’s life in a few paragraphs and then get back to the story. While I think that having a back story and other interests is a good idea for your main character you either need to involve that plot line completely or ditch it somewhere along the line - for example towards the middle of the book we’d get occasional snippets about Erica’s day at work which interrupted the flow of the plot for me. And while I loved Erica’s fiery managerial personality at the job it just didn’t flow in the story as I would have liked.

I also found Julian (although sweet and idyllic) to be a bit much on the love-sick, too sweet side and it got a bit much for me, I needed a tiny bit more masculinity and a tiny bit less gooey. That could just be me though!

On the whole though I enjoyed Erica’s fiery persona and thought there was enough interest in her life to make The Husband Diet a good novel, I’d be curious to see what happens to them all next.

Thank you to Bookouture for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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