Jemima J By Jane Green
Jemima Jones is overweight. About seven stone overweight. Treated like a slave by her thin and bitchy flatmates, lorded over at the Kilburn Herald by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented, but better paid), her only consolation is food. What with that and her passion for her charming, sexy colleague Ben, she knows her life needs changing. But can Jemima reinvent herself? And should she?
‘Jemima J’ is a book that I read many years ago and fell in love with it. Recently I was thinking about the book and thought for the first time, I’d return to it and review it, as this was the first book that I read by Jane Green and started my love for the popular author.
The book is set in the early 90’s just as the Internet was launched and Jemima is a tips columnist for a small newspaper, she dreams for so much for life, then just providing tips for removing stains and unwanted hair. She’s overweight and completely in love with a colleague called Ben, who most women love including Jemima’s bitchy house mates Lisa and Sophie. So when Ben gets a new job and leaves Jemima, she decides to have a go at online dating and that’s when she meets Brad. A handsome gym owner from America who steals Jemima’s heart. After much pleading for a photograph of herself, Jemima sends through a fake photograph and Brad completely falls in love and this gives Jemima the boost and incentive to make a difference to her life before travelling to America to meet Brad.
After months of hard work and determination, Jemima becomes a shadow of her former self and becomes competition to her flatmates, who always pitied her for being overweight. Now slimmer and happier than she has ever been, Jemima travels to America to meet the love of her life. But, things take an unexpected turn in America that leaves Jemima unsure of what she is to do next.
For the second time, I fell in love with this book. Jane has such a lovely style of writing, writing from Jemima’s perspective as well as an observer watching Jemima’s life change, as well as those opinions and attitudes around her. Her writing is clever and warm, that had me giggling at the situations and people. Jemima, is such a sweetheart, quiet and strong willed. She really blossomed throughout the story and opened up to those around her. I particularly loved her friend Geraldine, who was initially just an acquaintance but they grow closer as Geraldine helps Jemima with the makeover. The story has many unexpected twists that made for delicious reading and as it’s set in a time when the internet was only starting out, it was refreshing to read a book that wasn’t heavily reliant on social media.
A story of love, determination and self-worth, ‘Jemima J’ is a deliciously tender and fun story that is well worth a second read.
You can buy Jemima J from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.