Thursday, September 18, 2008

(88) Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel



Struggling with weight issues seems to be the hot topic for memoirs these days. I read Such A Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster, and laughed my arse off, ok not in the literal sense, but wouldn't that be nice?? Moose Camp by Stephanie Klein was out recently. I wanted to read it, but still haven't gotten around to it. And now Thin Is The New Happy by successful Chick Lit author, Valerie Frankel.

Having read books by Frankel, I was expecting a little more humor in the book than there actually was. Instead of writing the book as if it were happening "Real Time", the book truly is a memoir. It reads as if Frankel were sitting down & telling you the story of her life.

The book is not just about her weight issues, but about the relationships she has had in her life where weight was an issue, or condition of the relationships. Specifically with her mother.

Growing up with a "fatphobic" mother certainly shaped Frankel's body image & feelings about weight. She tells it as she remembers it & even has a chapter about the conversation (argument?? confrontation??) she had with her mother about her childhood while writing the book. In the end, her father made her apologize to her mother. The things Frankel writes about her mother's behaviors & comments are not flattering in the least, but Frankel makes it very clear that she still is her mother & she still has a relationship with her mother.

Frankel also goes into detail the various romantic relationships that she had throughout her life. Including her late husband, Glenn & her current husband, Steve. And how their offhanded comments, no matter how infrequent, resonated even years later.

Thin is the New Happy is a book many women will relate to. But it is a departure from her usual books. Readers will be very disappointed if they pick it up expecting "fluff". They will also be very disappointed if they expect Jen Lancaster type of humor.

It is the story behind the stories that we have grown to love. It is worth the read!

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I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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