CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

S.L. Sparling

Toronto, Macmillan, 1991. 313pp, cloth, $19.95
ISBN 0-7715-9127-6. CIP

Grades 11 an up/Ages 16 and up
Reviewed by Joan McGrath.

Volume 19 Number 4
1991 September

Greer Payton is fat. Obesity shapes not only her body but her whole existence; it is the most important fact in her life. Her passions are food, in gigantic quantities, and antiques, which she knows and loves, taught by her reclusive Russian grandfather.

Greer's identical twin Leslie makes a mockery of the relationship, for she is and has everything Greer has not. She is slim, self-confident, and rapacious in her invariable successful pursuit of men, sneering at her wall-flower sister.

The first romance to enter Greer's life, in the person of handsome Simon Beauchamp, is just too good to be true. Although he really is interested in Greer, like most men he is susceptible to Leslie's wiles, and rather too curious about her grandfather's Faberge' egg, recently purchased in South America. Plainly there is more at work beneath the surface than was ever meant to meet the eye. When first grandfather and then the faithless, beloved Simon are murdered, Greer feels that her only remaining reason for living is revenge. The Fat Lady as nemesis is a fascinating spectacle.

This story, rather grim in its bald outline, is in fact a sparkling tour de force, as through Greer's eyes the machinations of a greedy, rich, thin family are mercilessly exposed and punished. When at last Greer turns their own weapons upon those who have always treated her so shabbily, it is a richly satisfying, sardonic conclusion.

Joan McGrath, Board of Education for the City of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works