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Full of wit, hard-hitting emotion and social commentary on being overweight in our culture, WAISTED is a novel that I devoured. Randy Susan Meyers is a pro at keeping us turning pages while we walk alongside her deeply human characters.

A measure of a good book, for me, is being able to see something in a different way, and WAISTED delivered. I used to love watching “The Biggest Loser.” I thought it was a positive and encouraging show, but I also wondered what things were like behind the scenes. While this novel isn’t about that reality show (but does make mention of it), its style, in addition to feeling these characters’ despair, hurt and shame, gave me new glimmers of understanding.

"A measure of a good book, for me, is being able to see something in a different way, and WAISTED delivered."

My heart ached with the two main mother-daughter relationships. Daphne’s mother was unkind, critical and mean-spirited, all under the guise of trying to “help” her daughter. Though Alice’s mother was loving and caring, and gushed with wanting the best for her daughter, the fact that she was white and Alice was mixed-race caused its own voids in understanding, its own unconscious and implicit judgments of Alice. As the mother of two daughters, 15 and 20 (and a son in the middle), to whom I’m very close, it gave me pause to consider what I might be doing out of love that isn’t being perceived that way. Could I be hurting my kids’ hearts without meaning to or realizing it?

In a fast-paced, easy-to-read style, Randy Susan Meyers dives thoughtfully into issues of ethics, family relationships and cultural expectations surrounding body image, appearance and race. Put it on your TBR today!

Reviewed by Leah DeCesare ( on May 31, 2019

by Randy Susan Meyers

  • Publication Date: August 11, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
  • ISBN-10: 1501131397
  • ISBN-13: 9781501131394