Mary Gooch is a 43 year-old, 302 lb woman who has struggled with weight issues for most of her life. She is married to Jimmy Gooch who is still as handsome as he was in high school. For Mary food became her friend and her solace, when things went wrong in her life. With each major disappointment and loss in her life, she packed on more and more weight. The extra weight she gained, keeps her socially isolated. Even when she was a little girl, she heard the doctor whisper to her mother that she was "abeast". It is only as an adult does Mary, realize that what her doctor really called her when she was little was -- "obese".
While Mary waits for her husband to come home, on the eve of their 25th wedding anniversary, the introspective Mary looks back at her life and recalls a time when she and Jimmy...A.K.A. Gooch were happy. She was thin and happy, when she first met her husband, but now Mary has not wanted to go on a vacation and she has never flown in an airplane. In fact, except for her menial job at a drug store, she spends her life at home hiding food , eating and filling the void in her life with more and more food. Her wardrobe is pathetic, it consists of two pairs of blue scrubs because she has trouble finding clothes that fit her. As Mary waits and waits and waits for Gooch, it becomes pretty clear to her that her husband is not coming home.
Determined to find her husband, Mary faces her fears and leaves her home in Canada for California. She sees the ocean for the very first time, learns to use a bankcard and experiences a few other firsts as well. She soon realizes her own self imposed fears were just that and she soon begins to see herself in a new light.
MY THOUGHTS - I loved this novel and the character, Mary. It is a touching story of a damaged woman in crisis. It was easy to quickly get caught up in her life and this story. The author did a beautiful job creating, an at times heartbreaking story, into a story of hope and transformation. Mary shows us how our own inner strength can give us the power to change our lives, by taking a chance and doing something new when the old way is no longer working for us.
I was sad to see this story end. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
(5/5 stars) - Library Book