Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
From Beer To Maternity is a humor novel written by Julie Hodgson. What could be worse than coming back to work having to face co-workers who had witnessed your descent into a glorious, full-out drunken stupor where you bet everyone and anyone that you can lose more weight in a year than that awful man from Accounting? Janet finds out when she gets back after the holidays and finds the least flattering pictures of herself and Jack from Accounting on a full-sized wall display at the call center where she works. Seems that everyone there has gotten involved in the proposed weight loss competition, and there’s not really any way for her to gracefully back out of it. All the women have placed their bets on her as their champion, 684 pounds worth, to be exact, already and counting. Janet brightened for a moment at the thought that that money was hers if she won, but not even that was a compensatory factor here. Her winning simply meant a gigantic girls’ night out to celebrate. The details of the challenge were clear: each month they would be on a different diet determined by the staff at PPI Solutions and online submissions. Janet was, already, a YouTube star. Her drunken performance, and challenge, had quickly gone viral. Being the game person that she was, and hating looking at the picture and video of that chubby woman, who couldn’t possibly really be her, Janet decided to just go for it. What would it hurt? It would, actually, change her life and in the most unexpected ways.
Julie Hodgson’s new adult humor novel, From Beer To Maternity, is a brashly funny book about fat shaming, exploitation and the efforts of two “fatties” to do the impossible while enduring a contest that gains steam with each successive month. Hodgson’s characters, especially the hapless Janet and Jack, are marvelous and her plot zings and crackles with deft comedic touches. The diets selected during the challenge range from the absurd to the historically insane as the two dieters are prompted to wear blue glasses, pray for fat loss and chew their food dozens of times before spitting it out again. The unlikely romance that hovers in the air as these two find the challenge to be a surprisingly satisfying and life-changing experience is an added bonus and a joy to behold. From Beer to Maternity is most highly recommended.