“The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan” by Whitney Dineen

The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan

The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan

Whitney Dineen

Mimi Finnegan has a problem. At the tender age of thirty-four, she’s already developed a bunion, which her doctor attributes to the extra…load she puts on her feet. Since the only thing she believes that makes her stand out in her family of beautiful, high-achieving sisters is her attractive feet, this is a catastrophe that makes her decide to try dieting. Again. As she explains while sitting a fast food drive-through:

“You may be wondering how I could have been high protein dieting for two years and still need to lose twenty pounds. The truth is that I cheat, a lot. For two weeks I jump start the diet with the serious deprivation they encourage and then by week three when you’re allowed to start slowly adding carbs back into your life, I become the wildebeest of cheaters. They suggest you start with an apple or a quarter of a baked sweet potato. I start with an apple pie and three orders of french fries. I have been losing and gaining the same thirteen pounds for the last twenty-four months.”

This time, though, she buckles down and joins Weight Watchers, whose local leader, Marge, turns into a kind of Zen guru for her. This is good, since Mimi has a lot of other problems in her life. She falls in love with an arrogant bestselling novelist who, it turns out, is involved with another woman with a serious secret. She meets someone who should be Mr. Right, but despite the approval of her bunion, who has a mind and mouth of her own, she can’t get her mind off Mr. Wrong. Will she lose the pounds, gain the man, and live the fairy tale that it seems her sisters are already living?

As with “She Sins at Midnight,” “The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan” is pure fantasy, spun together with plenty of laughs. Mimi is a goofy but good-hearted and likable character, and her adventures and self-inflicted problems are presented in such an outrageously silly way that any reader will be hard-pressed not to chuckle, or maybe burst out laughing. Certainly anyone who’s ever dieted or been around dieters will ruefully recognize many familiar scenes. Dineen has an amusing way with words that can cause you to overlook the far-fetched, convoluted plots she spins–but let’s be frank, it’s not about the plot, anyway, is it? For fans of humorous women’s fiction/chick lit who want to laugh while having their cake and eating it too.

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