The Last Will and Testament of Zelda McFigg (★★★★☆)

The Last Will and Testament of Zelda McFigg
Betsy Robinson  *  Black Lawrence Press  *  June 1, 2014  *  300 Pages

What an unexpected gem of a book. Zelda McFigg (amazing name, by the way) is a character I won’t soon forget. The woman is so very unique and refreshingly complicated. Zelda is clever and opinionated, but also has a hard time standing up for herself. She spurns superficial social nice-isms, yet she’s strangely fixated on manners and politeness. She is fussy and sometimes snobby, but also so clearly lonely and desperate for connection that I couldn’t help but find her endearing. As a character, she annoyed me, intrigued me, even surprised me a couple of times, but the more I read her story, the more I wanted to know.

Zelda is the best part of this book, by far, but I also loved the story. I thought it was unique and creative. It didn’t go where I expected it to, and I so appreciated that originality. I also respect how Robinson was able to create a story about an obese woman without being cruel or resorting to cliche stereotypes. I thought she handled Zelda with compassion and, well, love–and her care for this character was contagious.

Ultimately, this book was a joy to read. I wish Robinson much success, and I will look forward to reading her next book.

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