Today I’m delighted to be hosting the blog tour for My Pear Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington.
This is a joyful, uplifting book for those of us who
sometimes wake up and feel we’re not good enough.
Spoiler alert: we are!
She’s funny. She’s flawed. She’s hiding so much behind her big smile she’s forgotten who she is. But Greta is about to discover that the key to being happy is…being you.
Greta Gale has played the part of the funny fat one her entire life, hiding her insecurities behind a big smile. But size doesn’t matter when you can laugh at yourself, right?
Until Greta realises she’s the only one not laughing. And deep down, she’s not sure if she’ll ever laugh again.
But with her world feeling like it’s falling down around her, Greta is about to discover she’s stronger than she feels. And that sometimes the best moments in life come when it’s all gone a bit pear- shaped…
I always try to go in reading a book without any preconceived ideas of what’s ahead of me. However it’s difficult not to make some judgement based on the synopsis. It has a purpose after all and that is to hook you in to want to read the novel. For a book publisher, I would imagine, it is the most important group of sentences (apart from the book itself of course) that are written. My initial thoughts were that this was a novel about a girl struggling with her weight and hiding her insecurities through a big sunny personality, always ready to be the first to laugh and ridicule herself in a “I’m okay with it” way. And yes there is an element of that here.
But…and this is important… there is so much more to this story than that. Greta’a story is something that I think many, many people will highly relate to. It is a story about struggle, about the image we hold of ourselves, the lack of love we feel for ourselves. It is about addiction and the different personas an addict can come in that is far from the traditional image of the pale faced druggie. But it is also about learning to love ourselves, self acceptance, courage, honesty, love, love, love…oh and living our best life.
At the heart of it though is a young woman called Greta Gale. A woman who works hard to make her dreams come true but feels there is something holding her back, She suffers from recurring nightmares, insomnia and feels that her weight is always working against her. Growing up in a family of slim fitness fanatics doesn’t help and she has always felt the odd one out. Yet she hides her pain behind a big smile as she works the role of a lifetime as ‘Big G in da house’. A running joke that isn’t as funny as people think.
We meet Greta just as she is reaching her lowest point. Her pain, anger and self-denial are strong and I really felt for her, wanted to hold her and tell her it would be okay. Watching her pull herself out of her pit of misery and despair was nothing short of spectacular. With a little help from her Uncle and the road trip of a lifetime to meet her all time idol and namesake, Greta begins to piece her life back together again…picking up a few new friends on the way.
This is an incredibly uplifting read and perfect for readers of any shape and size. Full to the brim with loveable, engaging characters and it’s nod to the wonderful Wizard of Oz, with it’s regular ozisms (I adored these popping up throughout the story), it was an absolute pleasure to join our Dorothy on her trip down the yellow brick road to meet her Wizard. One thing that resonated for me – we’re all just perfect, just the way we are right now. Now go read this wonderful novel and go live your very best life.
Many, many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour. Also thanks to the lovely team at HarperCollins who provided me with an advance reading copy in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely adored Greta and I think her story will stay with me always.
About the author
Carmel Harrington is an exciting voice in women’s fiction – twice shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards, she has the potential to fill the Maeve Binchy slot with her warm, moving and deeply felt novels about family life.
She’s extremely well connected in the Irish literary world. She chairs the Wexford Literary Festival and is on the panel of TV3’s Elaine Show.
Carmel has a strong base in Ireland but her voice captures readers’ hearts all over the world and we’d now like to grow her in the UK and in Australia as well as accelerating growth in Ireland.
Her stories are heart-warming, deeply emotional, and deal with some dark themes but are always ultimately uplifting.