"If I had one wish in all the world, I wouldn't wish to win the lottery. Nor would I wish for true love. No, if I had one wish I would wish to have a model's figure, probably Cindy Crawford's, and I would extend that wish into having and keeping a model's figure, no matter what I eat."
Jemima Jones is overweight. About 98 pounds overweight. Treated like a maid by her thin social-climbing roommates, and lorded over by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented but better paid) at the Kilburn Herald, Jemima's only consolation is food. Add to this her passion for her charming, sexy, and unobtainable colleague Ben, and Jemima knows her life is in need of a serious change. When she meets Brad, an eligible California hunk, over the Internet, Jemima has the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself--as JJ, the slim, beautiful, gym-obsessed glamour girl of her dreams. But when her long-distance Romeo demands that they meet, she must conquer her food addiction to become the bone-thin model of her e-mails-- no small feat.
This is just the beginning of Jemima's transformation, a process that takes her through enormous physical and emotional change and halfway around the globe. First published in the UK to great fanfare, Jemima J spent nine weeks on the bestseller lists. Jane Green's brilliant wit, warm sense of humor and honesty ensure that her success will continue--on both sides of the Atlantic.
Jemima J is a heroine who'll work her way into your heart, making you laugh through foible and folly as she sets out to reinvent her life and along the way learns a host of lessons about attraction, addiction, the meaning of true love, and, ultimately, who she really is. With a fast-paced plot and a surprise ending no reader will see coming, Jemima J is the chronicle of one woman's quest to become the woman she's always wanted to be.
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June 12, 2000
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Excerpt from Jemima J by Jane Green
chapter 1 God, I wish I were thin. I wish I were thin, gorgeous, and could get any man I want. You probably think I'm crazy, I mean here I am, sitting at work on my own with a massive double-decker club sandwich in front of me, but I'm allowed to dream aren't I? Half an hour to go of my lunchbreak. Half an hour in which to drool over the latest edition of my favorite magazine. Don't get me wrong, I don't read the features, why would I? Thousands of words about how to keep your man, how to spice up your sex life, how to spot if he's being unfaithful are, quite frankly, irrelevant to me. I'll be completely honest with you here, I've never had a proper boyfriend, and the cover lines on the magazines are not the reason I buy them. If you must know, I buy them, all of them, for the pictures. I sit and I study each glossy photograph for minutes at a time, drinking in the models' long, lithe limbs, their tiny waists, their glowing golden skin. I have a routine: I start with their faces, eyeing each sculpted cheekbone, heart-shaped chin, and I move slowly down their bodies, careful not to miss a muscle. I have a few favorites. In the top drawer of my chest of drawers in my bedroom at home is a stack of cut-out pictures of my top supermodels, preferred poses. Laetitia's there for her sex appeal, Christy's there for her lips and nose, and Cindy's there for the body. And before you think I'm some kind of closet lesbian, I've already told you the one thing I would wish for if I rubbed a lamp and a gorgeous, bare-chested genie suddenly appeared. If I had one wish in all the world I wouldn't wish to win the lottery. Nor would I wish for true love. No, if I had one wish I would wish to have a model's figure, probably Cindy Crawford's, and I would extend the wish into having and keeping a model's figure, no matter what I eat. Because, tough as it is to admit to a total stranger, I, Jemima Jones, eat a lot. I catch the glances, the glares of disapproval on the occasions I eat out in public, and I try my damnedest to ignore them. Should someone, some "friend'' trying to be caring and sharing, question me gently, I'll tell them I have a thyroid problem, or a gland problem, and occasionally I'll tack on the fact that I have a super-slow metabolism as well. Just so there's no doubt, just so people don't think that the only reason I am the size I am is because of the amount I eat. But you're not stupid, I know that, and, given that approximately half the women in the country are a size 14, I would ask you to try and understand about my secret binges, my constant cravings, and see that it's not just about food. You don't need to know much about my background, suffice to say that my childhood wasn't happy, that I never felt loved, that I never got over my parents' divorce as a young child, and that now, as an adult, the only time I feel really comforted is when I seek solace in food. So here I am now, at twenty-seven years old, bright, funny, warm, caring and kind. But of course people don't see that when they look at Jemima Jones. They simply see fat. Unfortunately they don't see what I see when I look in the mirror. Selective visualization, I think I'll call it. They don't see my glossy light brown hair. They don't see my green eyes, they don't see my full lips. Not that they're anything amazing, but I like them, I'd say they were my best features. They don't notice the clothes either, because, despite weighing far, far more than I should, I don't let myself go, I always make an effort. I mean, look at me now. If I were slim, you would say I look fantastic in my bold striped trousers and long tunic top in a perfectly matching shade of orange. But no, because of the size I am people look at me and think, "God, she shouldn't wear such bright colors, she shouldn't draw attention to herself.'' But why shouldn't I enjoy clothes? At least I'm not telling