Suzanne Supplee has gotten right into my heart with her young adult novel, Artichoke's Heart. It's rare that I feel such a kinship with a fictional character, but Rosemary Goode and I...well...let's just say we would be BFFs if she was a real person (and yes, I just wrote BFF in my blog. There's a first for everything I suppose...).
Rosemary is an awesome girl. Really...she's smart and funny and has a whole lot of personality, however no one in her family or high school seems to see those traits. All they see about Rosemary is her weight. The weight keeps going up and up as Rosemary constantly turns to food as a comfort source and the hits keep on coming from all around her. Her Aunt signs her up for a fat girl conference and her mom tricks her into going to weight-loss counseling, leaving Rosemary to believe she really is nothing more than a number on the scale.
When an adorable, popular guy from school begins showing interest in Rosemary, she knows it's too good to be true. How could a normal, gorgeous, big-man-on-campus type ever have an interest in her, the Artichoke? As Rosemary slowly learns how to love herself through this novel, she also learns that she can have true and promising relationships with others, including boys and her mother, and that it doesn't really matter what others believe, it's what one believes about themselves that is important.
As Rosemary grew as a character, I think I grew a bit as a person as well. As far as weight goes, I've never had a problem with gaining it, but have always had a problem with the losing part (anyone with me on this??) and especially so after having my son. I can see, after reading Artichoke's Heart, that I often think of myself as only a number on the scale, rather than as a person, as Rosemary was quite obviously doing. Even as a fictional character, she gave insight into my own life and opened up my own eyes a bit. What a great feat for a young adult novel! Thanks Ms. Supplee!