Fat heroines in fiction
If you know someone who is a bookworm, or if you like to read, and are looking for fiction with strong, wonderful fat women, do I ever have some recommendations for you. Some I’ve read, and others are on my list, but I have read the reviews of all of them. I don’t always rely on reviews to make up my mind about which books I want to purchase, sometimes I look at the blurb about the book and use that to make my determination. With that said, all of these books looked interesting to me, and the ones I don’t have, well, let’s just say I’ll be buying them as soon as I can afford them. On to the reviews/recommendations.
The first book is Fat Assassins by Marita Fowler. I got this one because it was free and had the word “fat” in the title (well, that, and I liked the cover art for the book).
Then I read the blurb about the plot of the book and I was hooked:
Southern style sweet potatoes Shasta and Ulyssa have stuck together through thick and thin since their escape from third grade fat camp. But on one dark day, they both find themselves unemployed.
A hazardous job hunt sees them turn down egg harvesting, drug dealing and phone sex before they settle for an exterminator job. Confusing mafia lingo leaves the girls thinking they’re being interviewed to cope with a rodent infestation. Confident that they can handle the job, they oversell their skills and demand half the payment up front to seal the deal. Skeptical at first, the mob boss decides to hire this unlikely pair when he mistakes their attitude for professional stoicism.
The girls are shocked when presented with a target profile and an envelope full of cash. They want out, but it’s too late.
The mob doesn’t allow do-overs. And certainly not when they’re whacking one of their own.
The clock is ticking and when the body count is still zero after multiple attempts, the boss decides to bring in additional assassins to finish the job and tie up loose ends.
And the girls just happen to be one of those loose ends.
Shasta worked at Walmart and ended up unemployed because her cousin gave her a lottery ticket for her birthday (and forgot to tell her it was a “gag” ticket), she thought she had won $30K. So when she went to work and had a bad day, she got on the intercom and:
“Attention Wal-Mart shoppers!” I chimed over the PA system. “Please visit our produce section, where you’ll find oranges 50% off the regular price. While you’re there, be sure and thank Rob, our produce manager for the discount since he was fornicating on ‘em. As an extra bonus today, I’d also like to inform Wal-Mart shoppers that Minnie, our associate manager, is cheating on her husband with Bobby Ray, our store manager. To celebrate their adulterous relationship, take an additional 25% off condoms. You can never be to safe when you’re screwing the boss.”
The rest of the book is the tale of Shasta and Ulyssa looking for another job and the comedy of errors that ensues when they finally find one. I read this in about four hours and had to start immediately on the sequel, Fat Bodyguards:
Saucy calzones Shasta and Ulyssa have earned an honorary spot in the mafia with their wetwork, but the girls are ready to leave the crazy mob life behind and return to Nitro. They’ve got one foot out the door when a desperate Nicolo makes them an offer they can’t refuse.
A fat paycheck to take his daughter on a vacation far, far away from New Jersey.
Still skittish from their last job, the girls are reluctant to sign on until he promises – no killing required. They quickly learn that being assassins was a helluva lot easier than protecting the mobster’s spoiled teenage daughter, Princess.
Paranoia fueled situations keep the girls on their toes, but they’re caught flatfooted when attackers kidnap Princess and disappear without a trace.
The only thing worse than guarding Nicolo’s daughter…is losing her.
Not thrilled with the prospect of new designer concrete footwear, the girls scramble to find Princess and bring her home before anyone discovers she’s missing.
Armed with plastic guns and southern charm, they set out on the most perilous adventure of their lives.
They may be the worst bodyguards in the world, but they’re planning the rescue mission of a lifetime.
This is another comedy of errors that was a quick read (four hours again). I haven’t laughed so hard when reading a book in a long time. There is a third book in the series, Fat Spies, that is supposed to be out sometime next year, and I will be buying it as well.
The thing I liked about these books is that Shasta and Ulyssa are plus-sized women, but there is no shortage of men who are romantically interested in them. They are also described as liking their food, but it’s not in any way derogatory or blaming their size on their love of food. It’s just matter-of-fact — they worked hard and were hungry, and food tasted good. A refreshing change of pace, as you can imagine.
The rest of the books on my reading list are ones I have on my Kindle and haven’t managed to read yet, or ones I want to get, based on the blurbs about them. Here they are:
Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner — I don’t have this one, but it looks interesting. A fat woman tells her boyfriend that they should take a break from each other and he thinks she’s breaking off their relationship. He writes an article about dating and sleeping with a “larger” woman and how that’s not so acceptable in our society. She opens a magazine to see the article and knows it’s written about their relationship. The rest of the book is about her adventures after, trying to recover from the betrayal. I don’t have this one yet, but I will probably buy it at some point, it looks interesting.
The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith — I don’t have this one yet, either, and it’s the first in a whole series about a fat female detective in Botswana named Precious Ramotswe. It was also made into an HBO series starring Jill Scott.
Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood — I just finished reading this book, and it is awesome!! It’s also part of a series about a “Junoesque” woman who runs a bakery located in a building with apartments above it. The tenants of the building, including Corinna, have all kinds of problems and mysteries to be solved. There are even two recipes at the end of the book, for those who like to bake. I will be getting the rest of the books in this series (this one grabbed me by the eyeballs and just wouldn’t let go until I finished it). I love Corinna’s attitude about her size:
I can’t afford to spend days in self loathing as everyone expects fat women to do. Self loathing eats your life. Being fat isn’t my fault or even my sin, despite what all those TV ads say. I was myself and that was what I was and the matter could safely be left to a reasonable assortment of whatever gods happened to be paying attention to my shop on this bright morning.
Corinna is a woman after my own heart.
Too Big to Miss by Sue Ann Jaffarian —
Too big to miss — that’s Odelia Grey. A never-married, middle-aged, plus-sized woman who makes no excuses for her weight, she’s not super woman – just a mere mortal standing on the precipice of menopause, trying to cruise in an ill-fitting bra. She struggles with her relationships, her crazy family, and her crazier boss. And then there’s her knack for being in close proximity to dead people… When her close friend Sophie London commits suicide in front of an online web-cam by putting a gun in her mouth and pulling the trigger, Odelia’s life is changed forever. Sophie, a plus-sized activist and inspiration to imperfect women, is the last person anyone would ever have expected to end her own life. Suspecting foul play, Odelia is determined to get to the bottom of her friend’s death. Odelia’s search for the truth takes her from southern California strip malls to the world of live web-cam porn to the ritzy enclave of Corona del Mar.
Another series with a fat female heroine. I don’t have any of them yet, but am planning on getting the first one and if it’s good, this will be another series to go on my list of to-get books.
Love at Large by multiple authors — This is a book of short stories. I may or may not buy this, I’m not really fond of books that are short stories, they always leave me wanting more detail, more information about the stories and the people in them.
Larger Than Death by Lynne Murray — This is the Josephine Fuller series, I have this one and Large Target, but I haven’t had a chance to read either of them yet (I’m slowly working my way through the almost 1,000 books on my Kindle). These look interesting too, more mysteries with a fat woman as the heroine.
I found these when I bought one ebook and a whole list of fiction ebooks came up that had fat women in the lead roles. That doesn’t always happen on Amazon, but when it does, I try to bookmark the ones I think are interesting. All of these are available as ebooks, some are available in paperback, and some are available in hardback. I prefer the ebook format as I’ve run out of room for physical books — I really need a house with one room that I can devote to shelves for books (but then, I’d probably just fill that room up and need another room for nothing but books… lol).
If you know a bookworm and are looking for books that would make good gifts, I think any of these would be a good choice. I hope you’ve found something in this list that you or a friend will enjoy.
And don’t forget to order your Amazon gifts through our associate store!