Dumplin'

Dumplin' - Julie Murphy

What a powerful novel that focuses on self-image. There were no drawn-out preachy dialogues or depressive narratives that the characters struggled through in this novel but rather the characters were dealing with their issues in a more positive manner.  Self-image was the main topic but there were numerous other topics that the author brilliantly calls into play such as individualism, death, making choices, being wrong and friendship. Self-image is a huge topic and working with kids at school, I am aware of this about every day.   One look, one comment or even one raised eyebrow can set off a person for the entire day. Some children do it on purpose (to get a response) and some are not even aware they caused the offense until the other person is hurt. I enjoyed this novel for the variety of topics it covered and for the positive mannerism it carried throughout its pages.   Will was heavy, she knew it and the world knew it but it was the way she accepted herself and the world around her that made all the difference. She knew what the world was unleashing at her, she wore the battle wounds, and the novel told us her pain.   The image that she carried of herself was not one of perfection for she was not blind but the image she had, she was happy with.   She’s accepted who she was and was moving forward in life yet it is the others around her that can’t accept her for who she is. A close friend listens to Will talk about her life, this friend who she has had for years, but something begins to change now and they start to drift. Will is a witty and a likable girl who hesitates about being accepted by others, as she feels she’s being judged by them. Will puts on a great front, she acts as though she is not bothered by other’s opinion but inside it’s a different story. Her mother, she lived the dream of the pageant for years while leaving her daughter behind, while Will’s aunt showed her the way of the world.