At 16, Lara Lynn Ardeche is living out an all-American dream. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed member of the Honor Society has just been crowned Homecoming Queen and Miss Teen Pride of the South; she's got a promising future career in piano, and a fabulous boyfriend to share it with. Lara is pretty, popular, and thin--and she never stops to wonder how different her life might be if she'd been born with a less willow-esque physique. With 118 pounds on a slim and trim 5'7" frame, Lara's fairly confident that weight is something she'll never need to worry about. But a few pages and one slick twist of plot later, all that changes when a rare (and fictitious) metabolic disorder causes Lara to tip the scales at 200 pounds. Regardless of how much she exercises and how much she eats (or doesn't eat), Lara's waistline is on the rise--and Lara, her boyfriend, friends, and family are forced to expand their perspective of life, love, and beauty to match this growth.
Through the creation of the fictitious Axell-Crowne, Bennett approaches the body from an inspiringly fresh angle. What makes "Life In the Fat Lane" so unique is the thoroughness of Bennett's treatment: through Lara's eyes, we confront some of the deepest social stigmas and the most dangerous ideals within Western culture. Anorexia, bulimia, the body's relationship to sexuality and gender, and prejudice against obesity all become part of Lara's journey to a new level of self-acceptance.