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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
If your idea of an exciting read is a story that stretches the boundaries of mental and sexual morality and reality, you’ll love Fat Girl by Mark Donahue. As the title indicates, this psychological thriller is centered on an 800lb woman, Sara. When readers and the male protagonist, Brandon, first meet the bedridden Sara, she’s an unpleasant sight. But far more unpleasant is her sharp-tongued, sexually strange, and wealthy mother, Elaine, who despite her disposition, loves her daughter very much and makes sure Sara has the best care money can buy. When Elaine learns she has little time left to live, her primary concern is making sure Sara will be well looked after when she dies. To secure Sara’s future care, she hires Brandon. The terms of his contract are lucrative, but the conditions are, well, weird. Brandon accepts the job, but over the next 10 years, readers watch in horror as Sara very slowly rebounds while Brandon crumbles into borderline insanity.
The supplied description of Fat Girl says enough about the plot. So I’m not going to spoil your enjoyment by saying any more about the content. Instead, I will say that while the plot is unique, for me, Mark Donahue’s strength as a writer is how he makes me feel about the characters: I found Elaine repulsive but sad; Brandon was pathetically despicable; and Sara? She was the most human, the most likable, the one whom readers cheer on and applaud in this unusual story of retributive justice. For more “genteel” readers, I offer a warning: you might find the sex scenes and motivations not for you. Otherwise, this is a fast-paced story, complete with unexpected asides and turns, colorful descriptions, and plenty of well-done dialogue to keep readers turning pages. Fat Girl is a psychological thriller that evolves into horror, the most horrific concept being “what if something like this could happen?”