Ada's Rules: A Sexy Skinny Novel

Ada's Rules: A Sexy Skinny Novel

4.0 13
by Alice Randall
     
 

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Ada Howard, the wife of the preacher at Nashville’s Full Love Baptist Tabernacle, has a whole lot of people to take care of. There’s her husband, of course, and the flock that comes with him, plus the kids at the day care where she works, two grown daughters, and two ailing parents. It’s no wonder she can’t find time to take care of herself.

Overview

Ada Howard, the wife of the preacher at Nashville’s Full Love Baptist Tabernacle, has a whole lot of people to take care of. There’s her husband, of course, and the flock that comes with him, plus the kids at the day care where she works, two grown daughters, and two ailing parents. It’s no wonder she can’t find time to take care of herself. And her husband’s been so busy lately, she’s suspicious some other woman may be taking care of him . . .

Then it comes: the announcement of her twenty-five-year college reunion in twelve months’ time, signed with a wink by her old flame. Ada gets to thinking about the thrills of young love lost, and the hundred or so pounds gained since her college days, and she decides it’s high time for a health and beauty revival. So she starts laying down some rules. The first rule is: Don’t Keep Doing What You’ve Always Been Doing. And so begins a long journey toward a new look and a new perspective—on what Ada wants, and on what she’s always had.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It is impossible not to fall in love with the plucky plus-size heroine of bestselling author Randall’s fourth outing (after Rebel Yell). When Ada Howard—wife of Lucius “Preach” Howard, the pastor of Nashville’s Full Love Gospel Tabernacle (whom Ada suspects of getting love not just from the Lord, but from another woman)—receives an invitation to her 25th college reunion, she takes the opportunity to reclaim the thin body she once had, in hopes of impressing her college sweetheart. Ada draws up a list of 53 sensible diet rules, and vows to follow every last one. Rule #1: “Don’t Keep Doing What You’ve Always Been Doing.” Randall uses each maxim as a chapter heading, leading readers deeper into Ada’s struggle and self-discovery while she drops the pounds. As Ada learns that any meaningful change must be made for one’s own self, she inspires and energizes those around her. A heartwarming and engaging read, Ada’s story is more than that—readers following Randall’s rules will drop the pounds along with Ada, and perhaps discover something about themselves. Agent: Amy Williams, McCormick & Williams. (May)
Library Journal
This isn't a diet book, and it's not a self-help title either. However, this new novel by the author of the New York Times best-selling The Wind Done Gone could be either (or both), as it follows the attractive yet overweight Ada Howard through her weight-loss journey. Suspicious of her preacher husband's busy schedule and fed up with his financial commitment to Full of Love Gospel Tabernacle, Ada decides to lose weight after receiving an invitation to her college reunion from her first love. She wants desperately to rekindle that connection, so she creates a list of rules to follow as she sheds pounds. Randall's honesty on life and change is refreshing, especially as she introduces characters who test and embolden Ada. A seemingly minor character offers the greatest moment of this novel; his story, woven almost imperceptibly into the narrative, shows the strength of Randall's storytelling. VERDICT Randall takes an ordinary weight-loss story and creates timeless personalities, demonstrating the challenges that we all face when reaching for a goal. The result will appeal to readers of diet, self-help, and chick-lit books.—Ashanti White, Univ. of North Carolina, Greensboro
Kirkus Reviews
A feisty middle-aged black woman sheds 70 pounds and rekindles the flame with her preacher husband. Approaching her 25th college reunion, 220-pound Ada Howard decides to get out of her 3X sweats and work towards that stretchy size-10 black dress at Target. It's not just that she wants to look good at the reunion for foxy old flame Matt Manson, who appends a handwritten message ("Honey Babe. It's been too long.") to the invitation. And it's not just that her preacher husband, Lucius, might very well be cheating on her. (He's lost weight, bought a new car and is never home.) Getting slim and healthy is a political issue for Ada. Her three older sisters died of diabetes before they turned 60, and every day at KidPlay, the day care center she runs in Nashville, she sees a parade of oversized African-American women feeding their children the same fattening junk food they eat themselves. So Ada embarks on a program of exercise and diet based on the list of 53 rules that opens this self-help manual delivered in a fictional format. For the most part, the rules are nothing you couldn't find in an actual diet book--though probably not "Get better hair down there," which forecasts the earthy humor with which Randall (Rebel Yell, 2009, etc.) in subsequent pages chronicles Ada's journey toward size 10 and a revitalized marriage. When Ada visits the four congregants she suspects of being her husband's bit on the side, instead of confessions, she hears a litany of the sexual tributes to his wife that Preach recited when invited to adultery. His highly improbable confidences are typical of the novel's relentlessly positive tone; Randall's emphasis on black pride and self-respect, while understandable, makes for predictable fiction. A quick aside about a betrayal by Ada's best friend Delila strikes the only note of adult complexity in a book dedicated to simple cheerleading. Well-intentioned and readable, but very broadly drawn and often gratingly rah-rah.
From the Publisher

“For sweet, sexy, and strong moms…intoxicating…deliciously satisfying…” —Essence

“It is impossible not to fall in love with the plucky plus-size heroine of bestselling author Randall’s fourth outing… A heartwarming and engaging read, Ada’s story is more than that—readers following Randall’s rules will drop the pounds along with Ada, and perhaps discover something about themselves.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“[Randall's] keen observations of black culture and the human condition impart a true celebration of aging, health, and beauty in the context of one woman's life…Randall is sure to draw plenty of attention.” —Booklist

“This isn't a diet book, and it's not a self-help title either. However, this new novel by the author of the New York Times best-selling The Wind Done Gone could be either (or both), as it follows the attractive yet overweight Ada Howard through her weight-loss journey.... Randall's honesty on life and change is refreshing, especially as she introduces characters who test and embolden Ada. A seemingly minor character offers the greatest moment of this novel; his story, woven almost imperceptibly into the narrative, shows the strength of Randall's storytelling. Randall takes an ordinary weight-loss story and creates timeless personalities, demonstrating the challenges that we all face when reaching for a goal” —Library Journal

Ada's Rules might be a diet book disguised as a novel, and it might be a novel disguised as a diet book, but I guarantee it will make you laugh and make you think, while it nudges you oh-so-gently in the direction of a brand new way to think about and celebrate your body.” —Pearl Cleage, author of What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day

Ada's Rules is a modern love song to women, to men, to the bodies we all inhabit through tasting, loving, cooking, nurturing, and aging. No one is too old or too young, too heavy or too lean, to absorb the wisdom of Ada's insights about embracing our histories, writing our own, and nurturing the bodies that allow us to fashion the lives we want to live. Alice Randall does it all with humor, gumption, savvy and compassion. Ada is here: reach out and read her!” —Jayne Anne Phillips, author of Lark and Termite

“Alice Randall's Ada's Rules is a story about bodies--about the stories we tell ourselves about them, and the narratives they shape for us, and the ways in which they are shaped by politics and history and culture. Ada's Rules is a sharp, poignant book about the emotionally fraught war that Ada has with herself and her body, but is ultimately about the struggle all of us undergo--to cross the gulf between the people we are and the people we want to be--and the way we learn to patch together a useful guidebook by taking the best wisdom that we can find from every source we encounter.” —Danielle Evans, author of Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self

Ada's Rules is a novel for anyone who has ever wanted to take control of her life. With loveable characters, whip-smart dialogue, and a plot that will leave you breathless, Alice Randall has written a story about how we really live. There is love on these pages-- tough love, but tender at the same time. Ada's Rules is a novel about the way people genuinely change their lives.” —Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781608198276
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
04/24/2012
Pages:
352
Product dimensions:
5.84(w) x 8.34(h) x 1.18(d)

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Meet the Author

Alice Randall was born in Detroit, grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Harvard. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Wind Done Gone, Pushkin and the Queen of Spades, and Rebel Yell. She is also an award-winning songwriter, and the first black woman in history to write a number one country song. Randall lives with her husband in Nashville and is currently writer-in-residence at Vanderbilt University. Like Ada, she's done battle with her weight and won.

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Ada's Rules: A Sexy Skinny Novel 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Abbieoftheville More than 1 year ago
When Ada receives an invitation to her college reunion, she embarks on a weight loss journey. She wants to shed the excess pounds that she has accumulated over the last 25 years. Ada is a preacher's wife who had been accustomed to looking after everyone else. Now she would have to turn the tables and begin looking out for herself. I applaud the author for introducing middle age characters, aging parents and tackling the problem of obesity. However, I didn't know if this was supposed to be a weight loss book or a novel. Each chapter is a weight loss rule/tip. So, the author wrote each chapter in response to its title. In that sense, it seemed as though she created a series of stories about the main character in order to fit the chapter titles. Therefore, the plot seemed rather disjointed instead of cohesive.
Emilie1 More than 1 year ago
This book was so entertaining and I enjoyed it thoroughly!
CMGrant07 More than 1 year ago
This book is hybrid diet book/comedy/drama. I'm not looking to lose weight or diet, but it was a great read for general health tips. I recommend to anyone who wants to laugh and enjoys a good love story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for book clubs!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book it was a delight to read. I intend to purchase Ada's Rules as college graduation presents. This sassy herione lives a "lived life".
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EXCELLENT BOOK!!!! Wish there was a sequel. :-)
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