Review: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee
Author: Stephanie McAfee
Book: Diary of a Mad Fat Girl
Release: February 7, 2012
Purchase: | Book Depository
Ace Jones needs a vacation, but she’s not going to get it. What she gets instead is a good dose of scandalous small town politics that takes her on a wild quest for truth and redemption. Things get really complicated when the love of her life, who she hasn’t seen or heard from in over three years, shows up and vows not to leave town until she agrees to marry him. Diary of a Mad Fat Girl is as adventurous as it is entertaining as Ace and her friends delve into illegal surveillance, stalking, and covert operations in a strip club.
I chose this book on a whim based solely on the title and quickly fell in love with it. McAfee has created a humorous homage to friendship, love and self acceptance centered around the main character, Graciela “Ace” Jones. Loud, loyal, and gregarious, Ace and her friends find themselves at crucial turning points in their lives.
Ace is stuck in a job she desperately hates and wonders if she has lost her one chance at happiness because of her pride & insecurity. Deeply in denial over her abusive marriage timid Chloe’s life is in shambles but her shame alienates her from her friends just when she needs them most. While worldly sophisticated Lilly is willing to sacrifice her own reputation to give another at chance at true love & happiness. Minor story lines round out the novel with humor and at times heartbreaking moments.
Set in Bugtussle, Mississippi,a small Southern town where most people stay from cradle to grave. Bugtussle feels genuinely like most small towns except for one crucial element towards the end of the book. That change is necessary to move the book forward but is so preposterous it breaks the spell McAfee had so convincingly laid.
Ace, Chloe and Lilly remind me of women I have met through the years. McAfee accurately and honestly taps into the unspoken rules of adult friendships – knowing when to respect a friend’s decision and when to intercede. Of course more often than not, Ace sees herself as a protective mama hen ready to rise to any challenge or perceived slight.
This book reminds me of a small town “Sex in the City” replete with drinks, gossip, sex and wild escapades! I can’t wait to read the follow-up, HAPPILY EVER MADDER when it comes out!