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For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago. But now things are splintering apart, for one reason, it seems: Edie's enormous girth. She's obsessed with food--thinking about it, eating it--and if she doesn't stop, she won't have much longer to live.
When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is determined that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking family man, just wants to smooth things over. And Rachelle-- a whippet thin perfectionist-- is intent on saving her mother-in-law's life, but this task proves even bigger than planning her twin children's spectacular b'nai mitzvah party. Through it all, they wonder: do Edie's devastating choices rest on her shoulders alone, or are others at fault, too?
With pitch-perfect prose, huge compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic story of marriage, family, and obsession. The Middlesteins explores the hopes and heartbreaks of new and old love, the yearnings of Midwestern America, and our devastating, fascinating preoccupation with food.
Terrible book about shaming fat people
I read good reviews about this book before I purchased it. What a mistake! The author must really hate fat people. She also has no understanding of how much fat people actually eat. The amount of food the main character is described as eating would make her housebound and weighing 600 pounds or more! There is no insight about her; there is no compassion for her. She is looked upon by everyone around her (except for one or two people) with revulsion and disgust. I guess all fat people should just shoot themselves and get it over with if they are not going to lose weight, according to the author. I struggle with my weight, and to see this completely unrealistic portrait of a fat person is truly offensive. Every skinny person who reads this book is only going to judge fat people more. It's hard enough already.
This book is a well written story of family relationships and some people's relationship to food. Several times I felt it was me in the story. Attenberg captures the wavy lines between family members, how each member has different views of the same event, and, also, how food can really screw a person up.
An enjoyable read.
A good read about the realities of life and love.