Monday, December 3, 2012

(151)The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg

The Middlesteins

Pages: 288
Publication Date: October 23, 2012

For many years obesity has very much been a taboo topic.  One that everyone has tiptoed around for years, but it seems recently that a lot of authors have dared to tackle the tough topic.  Jami Attenburg is the latest author to do so with her new book, The Middlesteins.

The Middlesteins is a story centered around Edie Middlestein.  She has always been a little overweight, but now that she mas moved into her sixties her morbidly obesity is affecting the whole family.  Her husband, Richard, has left her to pursue single women he meets on the internet.  Her daughter, Robin, is furious at her father and refuses to have anything to do with him.  Edie's son, Benny and his wife, Rachelle, are concerned with her weight, but are more concerned at how the family issues will affect their twins and their upcoming religious ceremony.  Is a "happily ever after" ending really possible for the Middlesteins?  You will have to read to find out.

The Middlesteins is told from all different angles in all different periods of Edie's life and at the start of each chapter from Edie's perspective is her weight at that moment in time. (nice, huh?) But the underlying theme in each chapter is Edie's weight.  And while her family would LIKE you to believe that they are concerned about Edie's weight because of her health, the feeling I got was that they were concerned for more selfish reasons.  Like being embarrassed by her size. It was especially interesting to me to see all of the reactions when she brought a date to the big party.  In fact it even made me mad on her behalf that they were so shocked that she actually had a date.

Bottom line, The Middlesteins is not just another ordinary book about family dynamics.  Well it is, but when you factor in Edie's weight and all of the family's perceptions (and realities) that go with it, you have a pretty exceptional book.  Let me know what you think!


Sara Bell said...

I am definitely curious about this one!

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