9781455507214

The Middlesteins: A Novel

Attenberg, Jami

ISBN 10: 1455507210 / 1-4555-0721-0
ISBN 13: 9781455507214
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: 2012
Binding: Hardcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
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.

Review:
Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2012: At five years old, Edie already tipped 62 pounds. She’d clearly “surpassed luscious,” but how could her lioness of a mother--or her father, who’d starved all the way from Ukraine to Chicago, and so also felt “carnal, primal, about food”--resist feeding her? They all believed that “food was made of love … and they could never deny themselves a bit of anything they desired.” So Edie indulged for decades, expanding finally to 350 pounds, discovering (when Richard, her husband of 30 years, gave up trying to stop her and moved out) that food is “a wonderful place to hide.” Her adult children’s extravagant worry--mounting with each diabetic surgery and undistracted by her grandchildren’s choreographed, chocolate fountained b’nai mitzvah preparations--do nothing to dampen Edie’s enthusiasm to consume, and Attenberg describes Edie’s meals with a sensual relish that could verge on repulsive if it didn’t so readily trigger our own desires. The same story told with less compassionate humor could have easily been distasteful, but The Middlesteins has a light, tragicomic touch that lends it unexpectedly poignant heft. – Mari Malcolm

Review

 

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The Middlesteins: A Novel (ISBN: 1455507210 / 1-4555-0721-0)
Attenberg, Jami
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Book Description: Book Condition: New. Publisher/Verlag: Grand Central Publishing | A Novel | Two siblings with very different personalities attempt to take control of their mother's food obsession and massive weight gain to save her life after their father walks out and leaves her reeling in the Chicago suburbs. | Format: Hardback | Language/Sprache: english | 390 gr | 219x148x30 mm | 288 pp. Bookseller Inventory # K9781455507214

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Book Description: Grand Central Publishing, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. NEW YORK: Grand Central, 2012. (2010). First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New/New. Very Fine/Very Fine in all respects. A pristine unread copy. Comes with mylar jacket protector. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on the title page in the month of publication (Dec. 2012) in NYC. Shipped in well padded box. Purchased new and opened only for signature. Smoke free. Finalist, L.A. Times Book Prize for 2013. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 04-2011-21

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