The Divorce Diet, by Ellen Hawley (@ellen_hawley) – Review

About the book The Divorce Diet The Divorce Diet

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Kensington (December 30, 2014)

The Divorce Diet is dedicated to every woman who ever walked away from a relationship—or a diet.

Abigail, an inspired cook and stay-at-home mother, decides to repair the problems in her marriage with a diet book for herself and an elaborate birthday dinner for her husband. But over dinner her husband announces that the whole marriage thing just doesn’t work for him. Reeling, she packs up her baby, her cookbooks, and her single estate extra virgin olive oil and moves in with her parents while she looks for work and child care.

Floundering and broke in this life she didn’t choose, she turns for guidance and emotional support to the internalized voice of her diet book, and it becomes her invisible guru. While she struggles to reconcile the joy she takes in cooking with the book’s joyless and increasingly bizarre recipes and her native good sense with its advice, she works her way from one underpaid job to the next, eats everything but what her diet book recommends, and swears to get her life in order before her daughter’s old enough to create long-term memories.

Her diet book has promised to help her become the person she wants to be, but it’s only when she strikes out on her own that she figures out who that is.

Buy, read, and discuss The Divorce Diet

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | Goodreads


About the author, Ellen Hawley Ellen Hawley

Ellen Hawley has published two previous novels, Open Line (Coffee House Press, 2008) and Trip Sheets (Milkweed Editions, 1998).

She has worked as an editor and copy editor, a creative writing teacher, a talk show host, a cab driver, a waitress, an assembler, a janitor, a file clerk, and for four panic-filled hours a receptionist. She lived in Minnesota for forty years and now lives in Cornwall, where she feeds a blog—as well as two cats, one dog, one partner, and any friends who stop by.

Awards include a Writer’s Voice Capricorn Award, a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant, and a Loft-McKnight Award.

Connect with Ellen

Blog | Website | Twitter


My Thoughts:

As someone who is very fortunate to have a stable, long-term marriage, you might think The Divorce Diet wouldn’t appeal to me, but you’d be wrong. Even though I’m not a twenty-five-year-old mother of a small child who’s marriage is crumbling, I found that a lot of Abigail’s story – wanting to improve herself, finding the meal plans in diet books appalling, and feeling like a teenager when she’s living with her parents (something I haven’t done since I was in my twenties, and then only temporarily) – really resonated with me.

Abigail’s story is a poignant one, full of pain and anguish, but it’s also incredibly funny…and author Ellen Hawley perfectly balances the humor that comes from pain and the humor that comes from diet books, mixing them both together into a tasty treat that tickles the brain and satisfies the imagination. (I especially liked things like an ingredient list that included fat-free quotation marks.)

No marriage is perfect. No one doesn’t think about improving themselves. And no pop-tart has a discernible flavor. These are universal truths. Another one: The Divorce Diet should go on your to-be-read pile immediately.

Goes well with a perfectly-cooked organic chicken breast with olive oil, lemon, and fresh herbs, served with roasted squash and a fresh green salad.


Ellen Hawley’s TLC Book Tours Tour Stops TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by TLC Book Tours. For more information and the complete list of stops, see the list below, or click HERE.

Monday, January 5th: Patricia’s Wisdom

Tuesday, January 6th: Bibliotica

Wednesday, January 7th: Books a la Mode – guest post and giveaway

Thursday, January 8th: Annabel and Alice

Monday, January 12th: The Well Read Redhead

Tuesday, January 13th: Kahakai Kitchen

Wednesday, January 14th: West Metro Mommy Reads

Thursday, January 15th: BookNAround

Monday, January 19th: The Discerning Reader

Tuesday, January 20th: Reading and Eating

Wednesday, January 21st: Bell, Book & Candle

Thursday, January 22nd: girlichef

Friday, January 23rd: A Chick Who Reads

Monday, January 26th: Snowdrop Dreams of Books

Tuesday, January 27th: Bibliophiliac

Wednesday, January 28th: I’d Rather Be at the Beach

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 The Divorce Diet, by Ellen Hawley (@ellen_hawley) – Review by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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