Entertainment

Book Review: The Shape of Us by Lisa Ireland

EVERY so often a book comes along which captures your thoughts so well it could have been written with you in mind.

Lisa Ireland's The Shape of Us is one such book as it is centred on four women who meet through an online weight loss program.

Having been involved in something similar, I could relate to everything from the pre-program activities to the types of people you meet in the online forums to the guilt when things don't go as hoped.

I asked Ireland what drew her to this story as it's a bit of a departure from her popular rural romance novels and she said she also has had first-hand experience in online support forums.

"I was surprised at how personal the discussions became in a relatively short period of time," she said.

"The idea of strangers developing intimate friendships with each other fascinated me and it was a concept I wanted to explore further."

The four women we meet in this novel live in different parts of Australia and lead very different lives. There's Mezz, the married small town doctor; Ellie, the gay Englishwoman who moved to Australia to be with her now-distant partner; Kat, a former Bosnian refugee with a young child; and Jewels, a happily married business owner desperate to become a mother.

There's obviously a strong focus on the impact that being overweight has on the women's confidence, relationships and their lives in general, but Ireland delves deeper into the women's struggles with body positivity and their self-image.

"As part of my research I talked to lots of people - mainly women - about dieting, weight loss and body image," Ireland said.

"The thing that struck me the most was that people who had given up on the idea of losing weight were generally happier and more confident than the people who were actively dieting. I read lots about body positivity and am totally convinced that this is a path worth pursuing."

The book also offers an interesting study in the way friendships develop and change over time. Although starting life as online friends, the women become incredibly close and discover they've built solid foundations for support they don't receive elsewhere.

The Shape of Us is a thought-provoking and perceptive glance into the lives of women (and men) grappling with confidence and self-image problems and the impact it has on their lives.

Topics:  review the shape of us



Snake enclosure stolen from Northern Rivers pet shop

Snake enclosure stolen from pet shop.

Snake no longer homeless, but unfortunately it didn't happen legally

North Lismore house fire extinguished

HOT STUFF: Fire & Rescue crews from Lismore attended a house fire in Macaulay St, North Lismore, on May 27, 2017.

House fire detroys structure and contents

You can be clean, green and help a koala in one go

Simplyclean's Huw Jones (left) pictured purchasing a lemon myrtle tree to plant on his property from Mark Wilson at the 'Friends of the Koala' tree nursery.

Lismore based Friends of the Koala is getting some love

Local Partners

Karl Stefanovic's rant about Schapelle Corby 'a bit rich'

The fact is Stefanovic is paid extremely well by a television network that lives and dies by ratings.

Could Schapelle be heading for Gladstone?

Australian Schapelle Corby is escorted by Bali Police at the parole office in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, 27 May 2017.

Schapelle's mother teases her free daughter could be Gladstone bound

Six things you never knew about Men in Black

Mushu the pug

It's been 20 years since Men in Black first hit cinemas

10 strange stories behind famous sex scenes

Khaleesi and Khal Drogo in a steamy moment.

Every set has their own way of filming sex scenes

HBO spills new details on Game of Thrones’ final season

Game of Thrones’ eighth and final season will only have six episodes.

New details about what to expect from the eighth, final instalment.

Karl’s rant on Corby: ‘Made to look like idiots’

Karl Stefanovic is sick of hearing about Schapelle Corby.

Today co-host launched a tirade against Schapelle Corby media circus

Spicer discusses impact of discrimination

AUTHOR: Tracey Spicer.

Tracey Spicer to speak in Lismore

This is real estate's billion-dollar man

Bob Wolff at AREC with John McGrath of McGrath Real Estate.

They don’t call him the “Billion dollar man” for nothing

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Here's your chance to carp about feral pests

Carp might by great fun to catch but they're destroying Australia's watercourses.

Science in the Pub looks at carp and coral trees

SNEAK PEEK: What new shopping centre is going to look like

Artist impression of the proposed redevelopment of the cinema and shopping complex on Jonson St, Byron Bay.

Mercato billed as regional NSW's most sustainable shopping complex

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!