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My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington

Writing.ie | Book Reviews | Women’s Fiction

By Swirl and Thread

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My Pear-Shaped Life by Carmel Harrington has just been released by Harper Collins.

It is described as ‘the most gripping and heartfelt page-turner of 2020….a joyful, uplifting book for those of us who sometimes wake up & feel we’re not good enough’.

My Pear-Shaped Life is the story of Greta Gale, a girl used to taking the jokes about her weight on the chin, always with a smile on her face. To the world Greta is funny, happy and well-adjusted but inside Greta is far from happy. Struggling with many aspects of life, Greta hides all her insecurities from the world, coasting along daily on a never-ending spiral of negativity and shame.

Greta dreams of being a successful actress. She had the main role in a TV advert when she was younger, but now her confidence is gone and the roles have dried up. Greta’s family are all self-motivators, fitness enthusiasts and for many years Greta has felt like she just doesn’t belong. Her Uncle Ray is the one person that Greta can relax with, the one person she can relate to. Ray has always been there for her through thick and thin, carrying no judgement and offering no criticism of Greta’s choices in life.

There is one other very significant person in Greta’s life and that is her namesake, US based TV personality Dr. Greta Gale. Greta is inspired by the words and positive actions of this individual. Her social media feed provides Greta with daily thoughts invoking a feel-good burst within Greta’s heart. She dreams of the day she can meet her hero and let her know how inspired she is. But Greta knows this a pipe dream. With no major income and still living at home with her parents, Greta’s life and dreams are stagnant.

Greta wakes up daily anxious about what lies ahead. She constantly doubts her ability to achieve any positive action. But a very serious and major event in Greta’s life results in a very unexpected journey, a road trip that changes the course of her life forever.

Carmel Harrington has had a life long passion for The Wizard of Oz and a life-long battle with her weight. In writing this book, Carmel took on a very personal challenge

“I realized that this writing experience was different to any other I’ve had to date. This time it felt personal. I knew there could be no holding back. I had to open those veins and look at my own negative body image to fully understand Greta and her struggles. And as over used as the word often is, this book brought me as well as Greta on a journey…..”
– Carmel Harrington

My Pear-Shaped Life, while fictional, feels very real. There are many moments of heartbreak, many poignant sections that are very emotive. Greta has a very difficult journey to travel but with the kindness and support of others, she makes some amazing discoveries about herself, her body and her emotional strength. With multiple references to The Wizard of Oz littered throughout, Greta travels her very own yellow brick road with her faithful companions at her side as she searches for the answers that may well be inside her already.

My Pear-Shaped Life is foremost a very hopeful and uplifting read but it is also much more than that. It is a very thought-provoking read highlighting some very important themes such as body image, addiction, loneliness and relationships. Carmel draws from her own personal experiences and those of others, bringing authenticity and credibility to the tale.

My Pear-Shaped Life is a novel full of heart, thoughtfulness and courage. It is a warm, feel-good tale of self-discovery, depicting the many struggles of life, wrapped around the story of one very brave young woman, Greta Gale.

Charming. Life-affirming. Uplifting.

“I don’t have all the answers, I’ll have to work on my mental, emotional and health wellbeing for the rest of my life. We all do. But, I do know this. I’m perfectly imperfect as I am and so are you. My size does not change my worth. I am enough.

– Carmel Harrington

(c) Swirl and Thread

Order your copy online here.

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