When I first picked up this book, I didn’t know what to expect. I had never read a book that took place Canada, so I was excited to see what sort of adventure I would experience. However, at first it was very hard to understand all that was happening in the story. The continuously shifting points of view was distracting and unpleasant, because I typically enjoy books that follow a central and consistent theme. This book though, was told from the perspective of a little boy, who had many encounters with all sorts of people in his neighborhood, Plateau Mont-Royal, so the style of writing followed suit. After awhile, I did get into the rhythm of the story, and began to, at least somewhat, enjoy the many different characters.
My original expectations of the women in the book, was that many of them were indeed fat. The narrator uses the word “fat” countless times, so I just came to believe that perhaps the women enjoyed eating liberally and didn’t have time or any desire to exercise regularly. However, after taking a tour of Plateau Mont-Royal, my original expectations were corrected. Our tour guide told us that since the women were always pregnant, it would certainly seem that they were just outright fat, to a little boy (the narrator). This makes a lot of sense, because when you are young, you may not entirely understand the concept of pregnancy yet, so youngsters simplify their schemas of mothers and say that they are all “fat”.
Another aspect of the book that I imagined incorrectly, was the layout of the neighborhood. I got the impression that the houses themselves were filled to the brim with people, but I didn’t realize that the buildings too, were all very close together. When I got the chance the see the real-live Plateau Mont-Royal, I was impressed by the beauty and charm of the two or three story homes, but I also realized that they were much more compact than I originally thought. One of the most exquisite parts of the homes were the steep and spiraling staircases that ended right at the edge of the sidewalk. We learned that they cannot be built this way anymore (for safety reasons) but they were originally a great way to save space, by not taking up room inside the houses.
Finally, a happy reflection I have on The Fat Woman Next Door is Pregnant, is the cat, Duplessis. He was certainly my favorite character throughout the entire book, and this is largely due to the fact that the stream of consciousness he shared with us was astounding. From his judgmental attitudes towards the people in the neighborhood, to feeling his deep suffering when he was attacked by another dog, I thoroughly enjoyed every emotion and experience Duplessis took me on.