cover image The F Word

The F Word

Liza Palmer. Flatiron, $15.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-08347-0

A funny and fantastic lesson on how perfection doesn’t translate to happiness is served up in Palmer’s latest. Olivia Morton has the perfect life—she’s a top publicist for Hollywood’s A-listers; she has a gorgeous home and a knock-out doctor husband; and she’s undeniably thin and pretty. Yet Olivia struggles daily with her biggest secret: she used to be fat. A chance meeting with her high school tormentor and secret crush, Ben Dunn, sends Olivia reeling; the former fat girl self will no longer be silenced. As her perfect life is taken over by imperfect reality, Olivia realizes that her past and present can coexist and create a happy future. With only a few passages about Olivia’s big self, it is hard to truly empathize with how far she’s come. Her wry commentary on how a woman’s worth is tied to her weight in L.A. is both amusing and disheartening, but Palmer’s authentic humor carries the message with a hint of parody. This is a smart and sardonic novel with a genuine voice. (Apr.)