Review: Do I Flaunt My Fat, or Jump Off a Bridge?

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This is One Funny Book: Smile – Sabina is overweight, living at home with her mother and constantly nudged and annoyed when threatening to move out and live on her own at the young age of 30.

Her mother calls her Shirley and every time she decides to assert a little independence her mother does what any good, smart and crafty Jewish mother does best, if lay on the guilt, pretend to have a heart attack and force Sabina to pick out on chocolate to console herself. After all, how would she live if she did not have this great two bedroom rent controlled apartment that could be hers any day. Weighing in at 247 pounds, single and no prospects in sight she learnt that her last friend is getting married, asked her to be a bridesmaid and hopes that she does not look like a beached whale in her lemon yellow dress.

Sabina why didn’t you call me? I could have saved you the money and wear and tear of going to Jenny and Weight Watchers. After all I just lost and have kept off over 80 pounds the natural and healthy way. But, since you did not I have to say you gave it the old college try but what were you thinking when you ate the snacks and desserts in between each meal? No wonder you gained weight. Keep the faith and don’t give up and never let anyone put you down.

After all you are Sabrina Sunday the new Accounts Monitor who can lord her power over your bosses son and his partner. No more false expenditures and no more getting paid back without your approval. What more could you ask for? Power, the possibility of more promotions and the ultimate: Losing weight and fight back!

Jewish mothers have a way of manipulating their children into doing what they want. Sabrina’s mother is no different. Letting her know that at 30 she’s not married, no prospects and so lucky to be able to inherit the rent controlled apartment they live in should make her life complete and totally happy.

But, then things change for her at work. She is promoted and given more responsibility and the staff views her differently. The bosses son and his partner want revenge as Sabina now has control over office expenditures and everyone has to go through her before getting reimbursed. Threatening her does not work it just motivates her to do a better job which does not go unnoticed by Mr. Diddles her boss who readily gives her a bigger office, new furniture and more responsibility. Guess what he even wants her to have his power of attorney and shares in the company if anything happens to him. So,

Sabina is pumped to lose weight and definitely going to take the CPA exam being paid for by her boss. But, even more she meets Thomas, and together they join Weight Watchers on a two for one promotion sale, he joins Jenny with her, two diets are better than one and go to Overeaters meetings and what happens so hilarious you won’t want miss anything as you read this make you smile novel. Just the familiar Jewish expressions my grandmother and mother used brought back memories of growing up in the Bronx and the fun times we had.

With a mother whose driving her to eat and sends guilt waves down her spine, poor Sabina needs to find a release for her tension a new outlet to keep her from pigging out and hopefully losing the name “Sausage.” But, even more she needs someone in her life? Will it be Thomas? Does it matter that he’s not Jewish? He’s a doctor RIGHT!

The transformation occurs and Sabina is offered a modeling job at her firm and gets a total makeover and the results are startling even to her. As she begins to assess herself, her mother’s commentaries and criticisms still continue, the support she needs from her she never gets but her canasta group of women or the we need to put your 2 cents in group let’s Bessie know she needs to back off. Thomas shows up.

The women are all gathered in Bessie’s apartment for some good food, and canasta when he blurts out that one of his patients was murdered and he needed a lawyer. This starts a string of hilarious events that those of us with Jewish mothers and grandmothers would understand, have endured and know better than to argue with. Creating a humorous dialogue among the girls – typical Yentas- each mixing in and weighing in with what they think happened, who they think the murderer might be and what they do next will definitely cause you to double over laughing and well: You just have to love them!

So, not wanting his patient files subpoenaed by the police Bessie comes to the rescue and enlists the help of her friend’s son Melvin the lawyer to help Thomas. But, she’s not done yet. Without telling anyone she and her canasta group decide to investigate the murder on their own posing as cleaning woman for the Jewish Mama’s Cleaning Service. Imagine the police capturing these notorious older women armed with mops, brooms and pails to fight off any killers or murderers. Poor Thomas never had a chance and poor Sabina can try to disown Bessie but can she really?

So, could anything made it worse? Wait and See! Driving to her first modeling job, which made her nervous and skeptical enough. Reading her diary you hear her inner thoughts and her voice comes through loud and clear as she tries to figure out how she is going to get Bessie and girls out of jail when they get caught breaking and entering to find the killer. Why they did it and the reason behind it you will have to find out for yourself or miss the fun.

Picture in your mind these 80 year old women breaking into a crime scene getting arrested, making friends with the prostitutes, inviting one home to help care for her kids and pay for her schooling: What happens you won’t believe? What is Sabina’s reaction when she finds this girl in her house with her kids? Well, don’t worry things will work out somehow as her next step is Weight Watchers and finding out if she lost anything.

Overhearing her bosses she finds out that she is now the permanent model for Bella Mia and the only thing is they do not want her to be thin she needs to be full figured and now she has to make a decision. Tons of money to model or being thinner and healthy? Which would you choose?

But, there is so much more as one more patient is murdered and total mayhem ensures and everyone including the canasta girls turn up at the jail. This is one scene that is right out of Laugh In or the Nanny. Bessie makes Sylvia Fine not such a yenta. But, as you read her diary and get to understand Sabina more empathize with her and hope that she finally moves out of her mother’s apartment and stands on her own. But, will she do it before our Bessie lays more guilt on her? What will the solution be? Wait and see just how smart our Sabina is and I might add crafty.

As the police think they have the killer and Thomas is called to the station to identify him, things heat up even more but not before Sabina does another shoot in Palm Beach. To the chagrin of her photographer, who spends most of his time hitting on all of the models, Sabina brings Bessie along for protection and much more. Returning home her whole world changes as more offers come in. Another job is in the works and a murderer just might be caught. But, how and who gets him you have to find out for yourself because you don’t want to miss the action or the fun.

From an overweight girl about to give up on life, Sabina Sunday turned model, on the cover of magazines and what else? Find out when you read it. Will she wind up with Thomas or will she look elsewhere? Does she ever take the CPA exam or does she become a super model? Will her mother ever like Thomas and how will you know that? With a  hairdresser that has a sex change and a photographer that hits on all the models and a mother that is totally meshuge,  tsemisht , farkocktah, fershimmeled, poor Sabina has her work cut out and what happens well: Don’t Jump off A Bridge: In the words of Mary Tyler Moore: You just might make it after all?

Author A.R. Alan presents real life situations that many girls face when they have an overpowering mother who does not want to be left out in the cold and wants to feel wanted. Will she lose the weight or give in the Bessie’s latkes? Will she turn back to chocolate for comfort or Thomas? Find out for yourself in this hilarious, fun filled novel filled with twists, turns, surprises and most importantly laughs. Outspoken, sassy and takes no cuff from anyone watch and see what happens when Sabina takes life by the horns.

Author: A.R. Alan
Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Thank you for making me smile.

This book gets Five Bessies: I think she is great!

1 Comment
  1. Andrew Sacks says

    Now a must-read. Thank you, gabina.

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