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Pear Shaped [Paperback]

Stella Newman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Jan 2012

If you found yourself glued to David Nicholls’s One Day or belting out the lyrics to Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black then you’ll love this book.

Girl meets boy.
Girl loses boy.
Girl loses mind.

Sophie Klein walks into a bar one Friday night and her life changes. She meets James Stephens: charismatic, elusive, and with a hosiery model ex who casts a long, thin shadow over their burgeoning relationship. He’s clever, funny and shares her greatest pleasure in life – to eat and drink slightly too much and then have a little lie down. Sophie’s instinct tells her James is too good to be true – and he is.

An exploration of love, heartbreak, self-image, self-deception and lots of food. Pear-Shaped is in turns smart, laugh-out-loud funny and above all, recognizable to women everywhere.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (19 Jan 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847562701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847562708
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (285 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 137,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stella Newman likes to talk about food, write about food, cook food and eat food. After a long and quite miserable career in advertising, she wrote a book, wrote another book, Pear-Shaped, and is now working on her new book, a screenplay and a recipe book. She writes a sporadic blog about food, at

Product Description


‘A fabulous first novel by a British writer…Her writing is witty and snappy and she is hilarious on the food industry, with a wit that would not disgrace television’s The Office… I also found her fascinating on the methodology of contemporary dating.’ Wendy Holden.

'Pear Shaped is the best sort of guilty pleasure, from the copious puddings our heroine Sophie tests in her day job, to the relationship she just knows is wrong for her but can't seem to give up. You'll shout out loud willing her to dump him, and cry with laughter as you recognise all the daft things we do when we're in love. And then you'll have a second helping of pudding and fall in love with Stella Newman's quick wit and her clever portrayal of that delicate balance between food, love and insanity.' –Kathleen Baird-Murray

'It reminded me of a lemon meringue pie: sharp and sweet and satisfying all at once. It's funny, sad and uplifting… Sophie Klein's every woman who's stood in front of a mirror and hated herself, and we adore her for that, and for finally delivering a Toxic Bachelor a good kick up the arse. It's a belter.' –Kate Long, bestselling author of The Bad Mother's Handbook

'Achingly funny, searingly honest, Pear Shaped is quite simply the freshest thing I've ever read. Take note of the name Stella Newman. A must for anyone who's ever loved, lost….or eaten too much dessert.' Claudia Carroll, bestselling author of Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

'If you are a girl with a passion for food, this modern city heartbreak is the book for you.' Heat

‘What a fantastic book. Really quite brilliant, way superior to standard chick-lit…so well written, fresh, insightful, funny…honest and very contemporary. Fantastic dialogue. Great characters. There's so much that's fresh and fun, including the food world which I loved.’ Henry Fitzherbert, Sunday Express

About the Author

Stella Newman studied English at Sussex University. She lives in London and is a freelance copywriter and keen amateur cook. She is currently writing her second novel and her first screenplay. She blogs about restaurants, food and writing at

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignore the front cover!! 13 Mar 2012
Please, get past the front cover. This book has so much more to say than the ice cream girl suggests.

Not only is it laugh-out-loud funny (there's a thing with a Toilet Duck, I'll say no more) but it deals with the really serious issue of how some men make women feel about how they look.

And how they eat.

And the hypocrisy of not-very-fit old blokes with big appetites telling women how they should behave around food.

Because it's a well-written piece of fiction - Stella Newman clearly knows what to do with a pen as well as a cake tin - Pear Shaped is totally absorbing about James and Sophie's relationship. But you can substitute for James all the powerful communicators who tell women what to look like and what to buy - and what to deny themselves - in order to look that way. And you can substitute for Sophie all the women who struggle daily with how we're 'supposed' to be.

It's important for all of us that Sophie breaks free of James (read the book to find out if she does...!)

Because, despite the daft cover, there's a lot more than ice cream at stake.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Peachy 10 Feb 2012
This was just such a great read. I started it last night and finished it under my desk at work today...
Despite the chick-lit cover, Pear Shaped isn't your typical romance with a bit of baking thrown in. Instead this is a heart-felt exploration of an unbalanced relationship and the damaging impact it can have on your mind and body.
The heroine, Sophie is warm and likeable and the writing is very sharp witted and well observed. At times I couldn't believe that Sophie was putting herself through such emotional heart ache, but actually this was the book's strength - we've all been in this situation, or something close to it.
The story was very fast paced, so much so that I might have to read it through a second time to pick up all the delicious foodie bits.
I'm looking forward to the next Stella Newman (maybe with a better cover next time?)
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it! 28 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was responsible for me staying awake until after 4am as I couldn't put this down. For fans of chick lit it is such a satisfying read and I'm hoping that there is another from this author. It made me angry (at James), it made me well up a little (for Sophie) and my goodness did it make me hungry!!!!
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great easy read!! 23 Feb 2012
By SS83
Format:Kindle Edition
This book is an easy read and you wont want to put it down as I was glued to find out what happened. You will fall in love with the main character Sophie Klein and feel every emotion that she goes through as most people know about getting their hearts broken. I was a little disappointed in the ending as I would of liked to of known more and it ended quite suddenly. There was one bit I read that I think I laughed for about 10 mins re-reading it over and over and killing myself laughing, I even read it out to my husband and he laughed too. I really hope there will be a sequel!!!!
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54 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet and sour and Sassy! 24 Jan 2012
Initially I was intrigued by the title - as a pear-shaped person whose past love life was frequently pear-shaped I absolutely related to Sophie. Yes, James Stephens is a horrid person, but surely many of us have been addicted to the highs and lows in an emotionally abusive relationship. Stella Newman's style has a real bite (no pun intended though I did find the way she writes about food fascinating and fluent) - I zipped through this book all too quickly. Sophie is a well-rounded and engaging character - I hope we'll get a sequel and a movie!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing and delicious 19 Jan 2012
By Ruth
There is so much to recommend this book. If you've ever felt bad about your body or soul, or been in gale force love that defied the laws of logic, or invested everything in someone that used emotional manipulation to stay in control, then Pear Shaped is a liberating and possibly painfully truthful read. Luckily it's also hilarious, packed with wry observations, drunken indiscretions, sex in art galleries and custard donuts.

This isn't just chick lit. This is Stella Newman chick lit.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book with Bite 14 Mar 2012
The `Pear Shaped' story is a familiar one, but told with real flair and wit so it feels different from your typical love-gone-wrong tale. The author gives a hilarious insight into the world of supermarket ready-meal development, but she's best at capturing the psychological complexity of wanting to be with someone who you know isn't good for you. The descriptions of Sophie's emotional turmoil and reckless actions are frank, raw and funny.

For me the most powerful part of the book was Sophie's depression after the break-up. Most chick-lit books skim over this kind of thing, but Stella Newman looks it square in the face and doesn't flinch from describing the darkest aspects of heartbreak. Somehow, she manages to infuse black humour into this section of the book as well, and it works brilliantly.

I'm going to be giving this book to all my girlfriends as a salutary lesson in what not to do when you're dating - and also as a beacon of hope to show how you can end up better off, stronger and able to laugh at yourself if you're brave enough to face up to your own mistakes. I really recommend this book to anyone who wants a good read that is sure to resonate with their own life and experiences.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rendered: love, cake and redemption 14 Mar 2012
By Silver
Format:Kindle Edition
I bought this for my wife but ended up reading it for myself.

The cover is ridiculous, but the content is not. This is whip-smart, funny, tender, and believable writing that hooks you from the off - the 'off' being the best opening line to a novel I've read for ages.

You spend much of the novel wrestling with the main character, willing her to do well, and wishing she would do better. The rest of the time you are absorbed in the drama of dessert. Other people's jobs are always interesting, but few can be as fascinating as the ones which end up with food in our mouths.

In short, this is a top, top read, full of cake, love and redemption. I thoroughly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved every page and the characters
A really enjoyable book. I loved every page and the characters. Can't wait to read more by the same author.
Published 10 days ago by Mrs K B Arthur
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
its different but enjoyed it
Published 1 month ago by Polly
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good Book
Published 1 month ago by Margaret Parfitt
3.0 out of 5 stars Great romantic story
Lovely with coffee afternoon read. A bit slow to start..Great for pud lovers. Not too taxing and a bit of excitement in the middle.
Published 1 month ago by debbie tingle
5.0 out of 5 stars Good holiday read
Great reviews for this author, thought I might enjoy this book, taking it as holiday read.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs M Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
modern day love story. good read
Published 1 month ago by tina hiatt
2.0 out of 5 stars Something else begining with P shaped!
I'm trying to decide why I dislike this book, yet could not stop reading it I think the answer is frustration and the hope the main character gets a back bone and becomes... Read more
Published 2 months ago by bookmoth
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I bought this book because it was cheap and I was stocking up for my holiday. I kept leaving it as I couldn't remember why I'd bought it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by KayLou
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit disappointing
I have to agree with some previous reviews and say this started off OK and then went off the boil half way through. Read more
Published 4 months ago by CC
5.0 out of 5 stars easy reading!!
Enjoyable chick lit at its best. Took this on holiday for a fortnight and read it in a week. Would recommend
Published 4 months ago by helen day
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