Saturday, October 6, 2007

Book Review: Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Good In Bed
Jennifer Weiner
Washington Square Press
Available Here

Admittedly this is an older book and many people may already have read it, but I stumbled across it a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to picking it up. Being a “larger woman” I was intrigued by the premise of Weiner’s first book. And besides, one of the most wonderful things about books is that they have no expiration date. They will sit on a shelf forever waiting for us to have time to delve into them.

Cannie Shapiro is a twenty-eight year old woman who is happy with her life, her friends, her job and her dog. She’s even feeling pretty good about her size sixteen body. The only thing Cannie wasn’t happy with was her boyfriend who seemed to have no direction, no ambition and just pretty much no oomph. So Cannie decides they should take a break. She didn’t count on that break including his getting a job as a columnist in a national woman’s magazine where his first column exposes his trials and tribulations while “Loving a Larger Woman”. This starts a cycle confrontations and decisions that forever change Cannie’s life…just maybe for the better.

Weiner leads her reader on a witty, intelligent, loving and sometimes heartbreaking journey as Cannie finally puts her life in perspective, clears away the fear, anger and self-recriminations that have been hiding the reflection of a remarkable woman. The characterization is realistic and well drawn for Cannie, but secondary characters (particularly Cannie’s mother and her partner) often degenerate into caricatures. It seems as if Weiner wasn’t willing to devote the time to creating lesbian characters that went beyond the chain-smoking, softball playing, vegetarian stereotype. Attemps to redeem this at the end of the story sit fairly shallow.

Over all this was a good read and Weiner’s writing voice pulls you through. Cannie’s anger at the father who abandoned her, her embarrassment at her mother’s new found lesbianism, her own personal struggles with self all make this a story you don’t want to miss.

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