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Book Review of "Dietland"

Friday, August 10, 2018

I downloaded the Hoopla book, "Dietland" a novel by Sarai Walker and finished its 272 pages yesterday. I wish there were a PG-13 version of this book so I could recommend that you look it over and think about it. Not that the sex was gratuitous. After all, it included revenge for sexual crimes against women. Some people call this a second wave feminist book -- but I'm thinking Carrie Nations had to be a wave before bra-burnings. How could this be 2nd? Anyway, I just wasn't comfortable with the language and scenes described and thought it could have been accomplished more tastefully. (Perhaps I'm a prude.)

Neither do I want to recommend it because I agree with its conclusion. No way. Perhaps I don't want to give away the slant of this novel you might want to read, because part of the reason I kept turning the virtual pages was to see how it was going to end -- was she going to get the surgery, learn a healthy lifestyle, give up and go back to the way she had been living? I'm not going to tell you, except to say her solution would not be a solution for me.

There is a lot here to think on, though. There was one sentence I wish I could find in the book. Something about the diet industry being the most profitable undertaking based on failure that has ever existed.

Here's part of the blurb from the book: "an underground community of women who reject society's rules - and is forced to confront the real costs of becoming 'beautiful' ". A guerilla group begins terrorizing a world that mistreats women and the main character gets involved in a sinister plot. "Dietland takes on the beauty industry, gender equality, and our weight-loss obsession - with fists flying."

I just want to say that I don't think living a healthy lifestyle is impossible. I don't think I'm that different from other people. After 5 decades of obesity I was still able to change. I struggle, true. But truth is, I struggled with food when I weighed 212. I know which struggle I prefer. The way society looks at fat people, specifically women, and treats them is related to feminism. But choosing to live an unhealthy life is doing nothing to further women or society.

PS Thanks to all of you who helped get the word out that GABY1948 will soon be back among us healthy, but right now cannot be active on SP.
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    430 days ago
  • NANCY-
    You are not a prude!
    432 days ago
    Thank you for the review, it doesn't sound like anything I would be interested in. I had heard that statement of how the diet industry lives on failure. Getting surgery to lose the weight doesn't solve the issue of how it was gained in the first place and I would never agree with it. There are success stories in it, but terrible failures too. Surgery is never something you should agree to unless there is an alternative.
    Losing weight the healthy way is your only chance of sustaining the weight loss. That is why you are so successful as well as many others on here.
    433 days ago
    Just read GABY's post today. Sending hugs and prayers her way!

    As far as Dietland goes, doesn't necessarily sound like my kind of book, but I agree with the writer's stance on the diet industry.

    Thanks for sharing.
    434 days ago
    I am a prude most definitely and when I pick up a book at the library that transgresses my boundaries I absolutely stop reading it. Because it's such a downer and can affect my general sense of cheerfulness and well-being (and I am exposed to more than enough "ugly stuff" for work!!)

    But although I won't be reading this book I am grateful to you for reviewing it AND I agree with you. I am a strong and persistent feminist but I do NOT agree that somehow "refusing" to be healthy serves the interests of anybody (except maybe the manufactured food and diet industries).

    Being as healthy as I can matters to me. And if I look better when I'm healthy? Not intending to apologize for that!!
    434 days ago
    The diet industry as well as the media instill or try to instill in woman that thin is the only worthwhile goal. I disagree. Our overall health should be the main goal. The media critiques the bodies of famous people in such a terrible way that many of us are shamed with our own bodies. The diet industry offers the "quick fix solution" so we can all look like those portrayed by the media. It's a sad, vicious circle.
    434 days ago
    Usually I read a book long before the movie or TV show comes out, and I think I may have checked this book out of the library when it first came out, read the inside flap, and returned it unread because...who knows. We recently finished watching the AMC series based on this book, which prompted me to add my name to the library's waiting list once again. While watching the show, I could almost feel every single emotion along with Plum, and my DH and I had some interesting discussions along the way.
    434 days ago
    emoticon For the book review. Have a wonderful day!
    434 days ago
    Good review, Marsha. I agree that living healthy is possible, but takes work. And I think that motivation to lose weight is not always about beauty! Especially as we get older... sometimes it's just plain about being healthy, feeling good.

    But I totally agree that the diet industry makes TONS of money on failure. They market that you can "buy" thin. Well, you can buy the tools, but nobody can buy the motivation to do what needs to be done.
    434 days ago
    I am going to look for "DIETLAND". Also tell GABY1948, that I'm thinking of her & saying a prayer for her. Hope life is going smoothly & we'll see her when she's back! 🖐
    434 days ago
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