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Gym and Slimline [Paperback]

Emma Burstall
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

21 Aug 2008

A swanky new gym has opened in leafy south-west London. Four women bond over push ups and Pilates and become firm friends.

Percy likes sorting out other people's problems, but her own life is a shambles, with a terrible secret addiction. Can she kick it and win back the love of her husband?

Patrice, wealthy but damaged, wants another baby, but husband Jonty isn't interested in sex. Is it her imagination, or is he getting too close to the husband of one of her new friends?

Carmen is living dangerously, determined to get pregnant by her cold, treacherous boyfriend. She doesn't see what is under her nose until it's nearly too late.

Suzanne adores her sexy second husband, but is she neglecting him for her job? And has she realised what is happening to her teenage daughter?

New best friends. Their friendship is about to be tested to the limit.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Preface Publishing (21 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848090455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848090453
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 717,290 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Emma Burstall's novels include Kindle bestseller The Darling Girls, Never Close Your Eyes and Gym and Slimline, which has been translated into several languages. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, Independent on Sunday, Daily Mail, Red, Woman & Home and Good Housekeeping. She lives in South West London with her husband and their three children. She likes reading (a lot) and running in Richmond Park with her friends (slowly).

Product Description


"I really loved this book, I couldn't put it down. I defy anyone not to identify with something in each of the characters and situations. There are bits of everyone's marriage in there, the struggle to lose weight and get fit, the problem of trying to balance work with raising kids, the importance of girlfriends. I was up till 2 a.m. some nights reading it and felt quite bereft when I'd finished. It made me look at my own life, too. I took away so much from it" (Fiona Phillips, writer and TV presenter)

"Smart, funny and poignant gym-lit ... Four highly believable women" (Mirror)

"Friendship is tested to the limit in this impressive, emotional debut" (Closer)

Book Description

A cracking first novel in the style of Allison Peason's I Don't Know How She Does It and Polly Williams's The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, enjoyable read 17 Sep 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have never felt the urge to write a review before, so this is a first for me! I absolutely loved this book, it was warm and funny and I carried it everywhere with me until I had finished it. I cannot wait for the next book from this author. Thanks for an enjoyable read !
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Make mine a double! 16 Aug 2008
This book is about four women who make the decision to join the new local gym and become involved in each others lives not just in the classes but also outside as well. They all have their secrets and passions which they choose not to share with the entire group, but keep to them and portray an image of coping well with whatever life throws at them.

There is no timescale to this book, you have no sense of how long a period of time these events are taking but they are happening and it is very much real for Percy, Suzanne, Patrice and Carmen. The author cleverly uses a class timetable to split the book up and we are launched straight into the warm up (very important!) introducing us to all the main characters and a little bit about each of them. As the story develops and the girls find new classes to inflict upon themselves we slowly find out more about them and their lives. This is what I think makes a good book, to tell us everything in the first few pages means you can lose interest in the plot and lose faith in the characters if you know everything there is to know about them.

Percy is trying to hold everything together, whilst her marriage is seemingly crumbling around her and her addiction is just getting out of control. Suzanne is trying to balance the fact that she is a successful career woman with four children that need her time and love but also a younger husband that just might be fed up of being walked over. Patrice is stuck in a sexless controlling marriage and cannot see a way out without causing upset, and just why is her husband behaving in such a strange way. Carmen is determined not to be the only one who doesn't have children and plots to change the situation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous book 28 Aug 2008
Firstly this is a book about friendship. Set against a fresh, fast backdrop of modern life - the gym, the home, the family - Emma Burstall's style is light and accessible. The characters are immediately appealing - she doesn't patronise or judge and because of this I began to really care about these people. Complex and challenging themes are dealt with - morality, addiction, ambition, disappointment, the work life balance, longing and sexuality. Ultimately it's a book about forgiveness in its many forms. For Mark, Suzanne and Justin their relationships reach breaking point before they can forgive, whilst for Simon, Patrice and Percy acceptance is the key. There are some beautiful and tender character portrayals, both recognisable and familiar - bald, middle aged Mark will always be more attractive than the fit cheeky Danni. But despite its serious themes, Gym and Slimline is a lot of fun. By the end it seemed hard to believe I wouldn't be meeting up with these friends later at the gym myself. I'm just hoping I'll bump into them in a future novel.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 26 Aug 2008
By Kate
Gripping and lots of fun but dealing with strong emotional issues of real women and their families.
If you like Jodi Picoult and Marian Keyes you'll love this.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After reading the book I was almost looking for the characters at my gym. Actually I think I found them, the characters are so human you would probably find them at your gym too ;-)
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3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable exercise! 20 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A clever storyline an interesting group of characters of which at least one you could relate to. A diverse tale easy to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gym and Simline 17 July 2013
By carolb
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Easy summer reading - lots of twists and turns and fun to read. Its also very current for women of all ages
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gym and Slimline - Great Read! 23 Nov 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Gym and Slimline, and I found it difficult to tear myself away from it to get on with 'real life'! The characters in the book quickly seemed like comfortable old friends, and it was easy to empathise with them; yet sharing their ups and downs was a great piece of escapism. This book produced both tears and laughter, always a sign of a good read! A fabulous piece of writing, and one that I'd highly recommend to anyone looking for a good light-hearted yet poignant story. Thanks Emma Burstall, hope to read more from you soon!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED it!
I read this book a few years ago, but I'm just getting around to writing a review. This author isn't well known and I'm unsure why as she's amazing at writing. Read more
Published on 21 Dec 2011 by Bookworm
3.0 out of 5 stars full of issues
I picked up this book from the library in hopes of it giving me some motivation to get to the gym. It has given me a goal to get a gym buddy... Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2011 by Mary-The Sweet Bookshelf
5.0 out of 5 stars Gym & Slimline
Gym and Slimline is Emma Burstall's debut novel and tells the story of four women who met at a gym, Gym & Slimeline, and became firm friends. Read more
Published on 6 Jun 2010 by Leah Graham
5.0 out of 5 stars fab!!
what a fantastic read!! it had me hooked i couldnt put it down and that doesnt happen to me very often. A real giggle !!!
Published on 24 Nov 2009 by G. whitehead
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me laugh and it made me cry; I loved it
What a warm, funny, wonderful book. This is one of those books that you just can't stop reading once you start. Read more
Published on 2 Dec 2008 by E. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm, witty and wise - a real page turner
Engaging, warm and a complete page-turner. I devoured it in one sitting and am looking forward to reading it again. The characters are believable and you care what happens to them. Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2008 by JoF
4.0 out of 5 stars cracking read
not a genre I would have usually chosen, but I very much enjoyed it. Excellent characters and cracking story.
Published on 29 Aug 2008 by Jamie MacGarry
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