ME AND THE FAT MAN by Julie Myerson


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The latest offering from British novelist Myerson (The Touch, 1996, etc.) is a heartrending account of a young woman’s journey into her own past. Amy is one of those unhappy women who have been unhappy for so long that they can—t ever remember feeling any other way. Orphaned as young girl when her mother drowned off the Greek island of Eknos, Amy never knew her father and was raised by foster parents in the north of England. Now a waitress in the unnamed city where she grew up, she lives with her unnamed husband but secretly turns tricks in a nearby park. She may be desperate, but it’s not for money (most of which she leaves untouched in a private bank account) and it’s certainly not for sex (which she frankly admits to never having enjoyed very much). One day her strange routine is upset by a customer (at the restaurant) who tells her he’s seen her in the park and would like to have a “chat” with her. His name is Harris, and he claims that Amy’s mother had been his lover before she fell for the rather wild boy who dragged her off to Europe and impregnated (and later abandoned) her. Harris wants Amy to meet a special friend of his named Gary. Gary runs a bookshop out of Harris’s home, and he’s quite fat. Another customer? Amy is willing to put out for Gary—who turns out to be quite sweet—but something happens that she’s not prepared for: they fall in love. Eventually, Amy leaves her husband and gives birth to Gary’s child. It turns out that Gary has secrets of his own, however, which he reveals to Amy with great trepidation. Everything goes back to Greece somehow, and soon enough Amy must make the trip herself—in order to lay to rest more than one ghost. Extremely moving, very fine and real: Myerson’s narration is so masterful and unobtrusive that the outlandishness of her story is overlooked.

Pub Date: May 24th, 1999
ISBN: 0-88001-649-3
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Ecco/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1999


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