The Middlesteins (Hardcover)
|Author: Jami Attenberg|
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|For more than 30 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: Edie''s enormous girth. When Richard abandons his wife, it is up to the next generation to take control.|
From the Publisher:
For more than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a solid family life together in the suburbs of Chicago: two children, a nice house in the Chicago suburbs, ample employment, generous friends. 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.
"A sharp-tongued, sweet-natured masterpiece of Jewish family life." (starred review) 09/01/2012 'The burning question, which Attenberg explores with patience and sensitivity, is why Edie has embarked on her self-destructive path. The answers themselves aren't surprising: Edie married too early, felt ambivalent about parenthood, became disillusioned with her career. What's remarkable is the unfailing emotional accuracy and specificity with which Attenberg renders Edie's despair....A largely brilliant novel.." - Julie Orringer 12/30/2012