The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant

by Michel Tremblay, Sheila Fischman | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780889221901 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingPooker3wing of Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on 12/29/2008
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, December 29, 2008
A Christmas gift! One of the 2009 Canada Reads selections.

Journal Entry 2 by wingPooker3wing from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, January 19, 2009
I left this book to the last to read of the 5 Canada Reads selections because I thought it would be the most fun. I mean, one look at the happy-as-all-get-out woman on the front cover would suggest that it just had to be. Right?

Well for the first few "chapters" I thought this was going to be the worst of the bunch. I thought I'd go mad with the lack of structure - there are no paragraphs, conversations rattle off all together with no "he said", "she said" and there are a seemingly endless number of characters that were a chore to sort out (who lives with whom and who is related to whom or not). And just when I seemed to have a handle on who was who, the story shifted over to another set of folks to sort out.

But somewhere along the line I got used to all that and began to enjoy the craziness. Now after having finished the book and having had some time to think about it, I think it is the best of the lot.

I sneaked a peek over at Ibis3's initial comments about the book over on her blog, Reader of the Stack, and laughed when I read that the fat woman on the cover could just as easily be her grandmother because that's exactly what I thought - that she could be *my* grandmother. That's how I remember her looking out the window to welcome us when we visited for Sunday dinners. And I remember, wanting of attention when the adults (my mother, her mother, her sister and sisters-in-law) were yammering away to each other in Swedish, poking my grandma in the belly (through just such an apron) and blurting out, "You're fat Nana" to the annoyance of my mother who said, out of the side of her mouth, that that was not nice and I ought apologize. I didn't know why I ought but before I could say anything, my grandma swept me up in her ample arms, gave me a squeeze and said I need do no such thing but then she'd send me off with a peppermint to go bother her husband and the other menfolk in the other room. The other room was uninteresting. My Dad and the uncles usually read the paper while Nana's husband smoked and did the crossword puzzle. Occasionally they engaged in small talk but their hearts were never really in it. So, I soon learned that if I wanted to be where the action was and listen in on the women's gossip (which, by the way, was peppered with mild expletives - the pronunciation, though not the spelling, of which I remember to this day) I had to make myself as unobtrusive as possible.

And that's rather how I felt reading this book - like I was sitting quietly out of eyesight of the characters, unsure as to what they were all talking about, but not wanting to be banished lest something really good happen.

Nothing truly remarkable does seem to happen, just the luck and muck of life on rue Fabre. Nevertheless, as I discovered as a child, if you sit long enough and quiet enough you become part of the scenery and eventually, if you're careful not to do something too startling, you become included in the goings on. And so it was near the end of this story, when the fat woman invites all the pregnant women up for a chat including shy Marie-Louise Brassard "("Come on, Madame Brassard. You too. We don't know each other yet."), what the heck, you know you're going to go too!

And one delightful little discovery I've made is that I already have the second in this series (Therese and Pierrette and the Little Hanging Angel) sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me. Somehow, I just happened to pick it up before I knew anything of Michel Tremblay. Fate?


Journal Entry 3 by wingPooker3wing at YMCA-YWCA - 3550 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Saturday, June 27, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (6/27/2009 UTC) at YMCA-YWCA - 3550 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

at the west-side door.

This book was released for the Canada Day release challenge in celebration of Canadian books and authors.

I hope the finder enjoys it and has a Happy Canada Day!

Journal Entry 4 by Thales123 from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I found the book in the lunch room of the West Portage YMCA-YWCA branch in Winnipeg. I saw it and thought "I wonder whose book that is? I've been waiting FOREVER to get it from the library" ... 3 days later I thought "Maybe I'll just 'keep this safe' for the next few days and let supervisor's know that I perhaps had a book belonging to their staff when I saw the Bookcrossing logo. SWEET!

I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. I love the characters that Tremblay creates, and first fell in love with him from reading Les Belle-Soeurs in my second year of university. I love the gritty world he brings his reader into and his sense of fun. My favourite character in The Fat Woman was Duplessis and the relationship to Marcel.

I'm intrigued by the characters of the "fates". I look forward to continuing the journeys found in Chronicles of the Plateau Mont Royal!

I will be "dropping" the book in another location soon ... and I look forward to hearing from the next reader!

CAUGHT IN WINNIPEG MANITOBA CANADA

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