Things never seem to turn out in real life like they do in
the fairy tales. Certainly not for Nola Devlin, who thinks
that living in New Jersey and weighing in at more than 200
pounds disqualifies her for storybook princess status. She
and her two best friends are so fat, they can't even get a
decent table in a restaurant â€” which is what prompts them
to form the Cinderella Pact. They agree to lose the pounds
that are holding them down, once and for all, and become
healthier, happier women. Oh, and while they're at it,
they'll expose that snotty restaurant manager for the
bigoted fat-phobe he is.
All of which is easier said than done, especially when you
throw in Nola's sudden propensity to set everything from
her car to her kitchen on fire, her spoiled (skinny)
younger sister's engagement to a hyperactive gym rat who
likes to guess people's weight, and, oh yes, the teensy
smidge of fraud Nola's been committing at work. It started
innocently enough â€” her evil boss wouldn't even consider
Nola as a columnist, because of her weight â€” but the
columns she's written as fab (skinny) Brit ethics expert
Belinda Apple are such a smash hit that Hollywood producers
are sniffing around and the whole web of lies has gotten so
tangled, Nola's afraid she'll never be able to unravel it.
At least, not in time for the holiday ball being thrown by
Nola's very own prospective Prince Charming â€” who just
happens to be investigating Belinda Apple.
If it sounds complicated, that's because it is. Strohmeyer,
of Bubbles Yablonsky fame, spends most of the novel on
Nola's weight loss misadventures, leaving relatively little
time to drag the plot into place at the end. Despite that,
THE CINDERELLA PACT is a highly entertaining romp through
New Jersey society, featuring a lovable, if hapless
heroine, who, though she'll never replace Bubbles in our
hearts, will make you want to stand up and applaud when she
finally gets her happy ending.
Three best friends make a pact to transform themselves into
the glamorous women they've always wanted to be.
Nola Devlin has a secret identity. By day she is an
overweight, frumpy, and overlooked editor at Sass!
(the "celebrity magazine with an edge!"), but by night she
slips behind her keyboard and into her alter-ego: Belinda
Apple. Belinda is thin, gorgeous, British and the author of
a trendy advice column- she is, in effect, the latest
Carrie Bradshaw. Not even Nola's two best friends or her
self-absorbed sister (who worships Belinda as the "sister
she never had") know her secret.
When "Belinda" jots off a column about how easy it is to
lose weight, Nola is shocked when her best friends take her
own lies to heart and urge her to follow Belinda's weight
loss program. Since Nola can't reveal herself as the real
Belinda Apple, she bites the bullet and joins her friends
in making the "Cinderella Pact"- a last ditch attempt to
lose weight (again!) and transform their lives for good.
But as the pounds come off, things don't turn out the way
the three friends expect. Their journey of self-discovery
leads to the return of an old love and the unmasking of new
problems. Meanwhile, Nola finds herself torn between two
different men as she stomps out fires caused by her
deception as Belinda Apple and falls in love with the man
who just might be her prince - or the rat in coachman's