Author: Nancy Makin
Genre/Audience: Memoir, nonfiction, adult
Publication: Gemma Halliday Publishing, 2014
703 is the true story of Nancy Makin, who, at her heaviest, weighed 703 pounds. Her life was unusual from the start. As a child, she was sent by her mother to live in a religious cult which she hated. She got out a few years later, moving back home with her family. By 16, she was both a mother and a wife. As a young adult, she began putting on weight, and eventually, lived as a prisoner in her home, struggling to move around and rarely leaving her apartment. She felt trapped, alone, and desperate. One day, her sister brings her a computer. She logs on to chat rooms and message boards, making many new friends, and finally begins to feel the connection she has longed to feel. With the new positivity in her life, she finally begins to lose the weight, regaining her life once and for all.
This book really interested me. I always see shows on TV about people that are this size and virtually immobile. A lot of times, people view them as monsters, but they are humans too, and Nancy reminds us of that. It was nice to finally get to see inside the head of one of these people I see on TV all the time. I’m reminded that we all have flaws and that some people’s flaws are just more visible than others.
I thought this book was well written, and I like that Nancy chronicled much of her life, including her childhood and younger years before the weight gain. I always like to have a bit of back story, especially when it is unusual like Nancy’s. She could have written an entire book about her experiences in the religious cult, or about being pregnant at 15, and married at 16. Wow! What a life story.
A problem I had was that I was still left wondering how she got to be that size, how exactly she got to lose the weight, and how long it took her. I would have liked more in depth explanations of those things. I really liked her voice though, and think I would like her a lot in person. She was really funny, and would often joke with people about her weight. Now, this was probably a defense mechanism, but I liked that she tried to find humor in the situation rather than feeling sorry for herself all the time. I think other fans of memoirs will enjoy this one.
My Rating: 3/5