Friday, June 25, 2010

Size Eight in a Size Zero World

Amazon Product Description. Meet Lindsay Chandler-a 32 year-old New York working wife and mother with old-fashioned values who thinks she's living a fairy tale life (she's not). Then an unexpected friendship with her upstairs neighbor (he is smart, successful, sophisticated and sexy- she's not) unleashes her passion and re-ignites her sparkle. This liaison causes her to question the way she lives her life. Yearning for a storybook ending, she decides to make changes in her life, embarking on a quest for self re-invention.

Review. Years ago while on a Sex and the City tour in New York (yes they have such tours and yes I highly recommend the tour if you liked the show), our guide, a young and beautiful actress, (isn’t every beautiful young woman in Manhattan one?) confessed that she sometimes found it difficult to be a single woman in New York. It took me awhile to understand what she meant, but by the end of tour – after we had paid our respects to the Jimmy Choos store, and Patricia Fields’ boutique, as well as the Mexican restaurant where on Tuesday nights models downed tequila shots while dancing on the tables, I got it. In the city if one has neither Trump’s riches nor Heidi Klum’s physique, it is hard to stand out in the crowd.

In Size Eight in a Size Zero World, by Meredith Cagen, the heroine Lindsay Chandler is a thirtysomething wife of an attorney and mother of two who lives on New York’s Upper Eastside. By day she works at a dead end job in marketing and at night she cooks and cleans for her family. And although she isn’t fat she does enjoy eating an occasional hamburger and fries. In short, she is a fairly typical wife and mother, but in Manhattan where the other moms are pin thin socialites or trophy wives, she doesn’t fit in. One day her upstairs neighbor “the man upstairs” catches her eye and soon her world is turned upside down.

Size Eight in a Size Zero World appears to be heavily influenced by Sex and the City. For instance, “the man upstairs” is never identified by name. Also one of Lindsay’s best friends is a Samantha type who revels in her sexual escapades. Still the banter is often witty and the heroine endearing. For example, I loved this passage:

The outfit of this season for proper Chapin [the private school Lindsay’s children attend] mothers is a variation on the Burberry kilt skirt with a coordinating jacket, a string of pearls with the signature “M” knot clasp notably present, and Chanel sling-backs. I look around the room. Yup, that’s just about what all these stick-figure moms are wearing. I’m outnumbered.

Size Eight in a Size Zero World is a spot on send up of the rarefied world of New York's elite.

Publisher: iUniverse (November 23, 2009), 340 pages.
Review Copy provided Courtesy of the Author.


  1. If this book is half as good as your review, it's fantastic!

  2. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy, thanks for the review!

  3. Great review. Sounds like it might be a fun book.

  4. Sounds like a good one, and yes I think I could like it

  5. I've lived (briefly) in a world like that. If not the Burberry and pearls, the mothers did have a certain expensive "uniform" which I never could match. I felt much better once we moved outta there and into a town that was much more diverse.

  6. The book is fun and heartfelt.