Book Review: Fat Girl, by Judith Moore

29 Dec

Judith Moore’s blunt memoir, Fat Girl, is decidedly not for the faint of heart. Neither should you read it during your lunch break, just a suggestion. The story itself is heartbreaking, troubling and disturbing. Fat Girl is based on Judith Moore’s true-life story how she grew up as a fat unloved girl into a fat woman. It’s a quick read, yet it packs a whole lot of punch.

In the book’s introduction, Judith Moore warns the reader of what’s to come. “Narrators of first-person claptrap like this often greet the reader at the door with moist hugs and complaisant kisses,” Moore writes. “I won’t. I will not endear myself. I won’t put on airs. I am not that pleasant. The older I get the less pleasant I am. I mistrust real-life stories that conclude on a triumphant note…. This is a story about an unhappy fat girl who became a fat woman who was happy and unhappy.”

Fat Girl is about abuse–physically and emotionally–and a childhood shaped by obesity and parental abuse. The first person point of view makes it especially disturbing–the reader is right with her as she suffers from sexual assault and self-loathing. Her mother abuses her, reminding her constantly how worthless and ugly she is, how her mother wishes that she was never born. The abuse never stops and throughout the book she keeps telling herself that if she were thin people would love her. Food becomes her comfort–and is described in minute detail in the book, and this is why she continues to gain weight.

It’s an incredibly hard to swallow autobiography, yet you can’t put it down. It is heartbreaking to read that a little girl refers to herself as an animal and wants to transform herself into a rock cause nothing can hurt her if she is made from stone. All she wants is acceptance and love and someone who would pick her up and swing her around and around.It never happens.

Fat Girl isn’t neatly wrapped up, there’s no pretty bow around it. At the end of the book, you wish desperately for a happy end for this tortured child. Well, there’s no happy end. If there was a message between the pages, it is to think before making a judgment based on appearance because of the harm thoughtless remarks can cause.


One Response to “Book Review: Fat Girl, by Judith Moore”


  1. Book Review: Good in Bed, by Jennifer Weiner « VivaFAT - 01/02/2011

    […] But it’s actually better, imho, funnier and more heartfelt. A couple of days ago I reviewed Fat Girl (which is a memoir and as far from a lighthearted read as you can get.) I read a lot, and not only […]

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