Review of The Whole Clove Diet from Publishers Weekly

In honour of the fact that I have finally got the typo fixed in The Whole Clove Diet, and have approved the revised proof, and can now begin to really promote it (well, as soon as the paperback is back for sale on Amazon, which will take a day or two, and is available as an ebook, which will take a week or two), I am posting the review the novel received from Publishers Weekly when it was a top-100 semifinalist in the first-ever Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition:

Manuscript review of The Whole Clove Diet by Publishers Weekly, an independent organization

“Uncommon candor and realistic detail distinguish this engrossing novel about an obese woman struggling to end her addiction to food and cigarettes. Although Rita Turner is only 29, she weighs more than 200 pounds. She is married to a widower with two young children, whom she’s raising. Having skipped college and self-actualization, she now feels stifled in her role of housekeeper-nanny. As she careens from one diet to another (each cleverly outlined at the opening of each section) she gradually realizes that she feels trapped by her life, and that no diet can change her situation unless she herself effects a major transformation. This hard-won knowledge comes slowly and is overcome at times by backsliding and self-pity, but Rita’s eventual epiphany provides a satisfying and convincing conclusion to this well-wrought story. Each character here — Rita, her husband, her mother and her various in-laws — is portrayed with psychological acuity, and Rita’s vulnerabilities make her an appealing protagonist. Her self-loathing when she binges rings true, as does her need for food to assuage unacknowledged emotional cravings. This is an impressive work from a writer with real potential.”

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5 Comments

Filed under The Whole Clove Diet: A Novel

5 responses to “Review of The Whole Clove Diet from Publishers Weekly

  1. Well done, Mary! Super well done!

  2. ruth stevenson

    Mary, I couldn’t agree more with the praise in this review. I think it is all very well deserved. I really loved the book because it really hit home for me in a number of ways. I didn’t like Rita at all when I started reading the book, but I realized soon that she was too like my ‘dark side’ for my comfort a lot of the time. I continued reading the book because it was yours (!) but after a while I just kept reading it because I was loving it.
    I do think that this book got inside the characters’ heads in a really believable and helpful way. I think the characters were portrayed very lovingly with all their warts and inner strengths, probably how we should all learn to look at ourselves and others.
    Thanks for writing this book. I hope lots of people read it and find themselves in it and learn to love themselves and others like I learned to love these characters.

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