By Jami Attenberg

For greater than thirty years, Edie and Richard Middlestein shared a fantastic relatives existence jointly within the suburbs of Chicago. yet now issues are splintering aside, for one cause, it kind of feels: Edie's huge, immense girth. She's keen about food--thinking approximately it, consuming it--and if she does not cease, she do not have for much longer to dwell.

When Richard abandons his spouse, it's as much as the subsequent new release to take keep an eye on. Robin, their schoolteacher daughter, is set that her father pay for leaving Edie. Benny, an easy-going, pot-smoking kin guy, simply desires to delicate issues over. And Rachelle-- a whippet skinny perfectionist-- is rationale on saving her mother-in-law's existence, yet this job proves even greater than making plans her dual kid's marvelous b'nai mitzvah celebration. via all of it, they ask yourself: do Edie's devastating offerings relaxation on her shoulders on my own, or are others at fault, too?

With pitch-perfect prose, large compassion, and sly humor, Jami Attenberg has given us an epic tale of marriage, kin, and obsession. The Middlesteins explores the hopes and heartbreaks of latest and previous love, the yearnings of Midwestern the USA, and our devastating, interesting preoccupation with nutrition.

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It had now not disappeared. however it wanted redirection. Robin checked out Daniel and had the meanest considered her complete existence. He’ll do. She leaned over the nook of the bar, the sting of it urgent opposed to her intestine, and gave Daniel a clumsy yet now not solely poor kiss. She sat back off in her seat. Daniel stated not anything for a minute. His eyes have been glassy, and he rubbed his lips jointly. “We may still discuss this first,” stated Daniel. “This is the absolute factor we should always now not speak about,” stated Robin. “Do no longer speak, and don't imagine. do exactly. ” jointly, silently, they left. Edie, 202 kilos every body was once passionate about Golda Meir in Edie Herzen’s condominium. Her father, and all his associates, a few from the synagogue, a few from the collage, a couple of clean from Russia whom Edie’s father had followed into his existence simply because he used to be constantly adopting humans, spent weekends hunched over the kitchen desk conversing approximately her, smoking cigarettes and consuming espresso, deciding on on the nutrients in entrance of them, the plates of whitefish and herring, the bagels, the lox, some of the spreads of occasionally indeterminate meat. vibrant eco-friendly pickles bursting with vinegar and salt. The cherry pastries lined with half-melted squiggles of frosting. Her mom will be cutting tomatoes and onions close to the kitchen sink, a cigarette in her mouth, too. She wore her hair excessive and fluffy and dyed black, and there has been constantly a brand new gold bracelet dangling round her wrist. She cared under Edie’s father did approximately all this, and she or he virtually by no means went to the synagogue other than on excessive vacation trips. after they moved to Skokie ten years sooner than from Hyde Park, they left in the back of the synagogue that Edie’s mom had grown up with, and without notice training her religion turned beside the point with no own feel of heritage hooked up to it. yet she supported her husband and his friends—they may perhaps do the entire praying on her behalf. She’d confirm they acquired fed. not anyone would depart her condominium hungry. these terrible, wifeless, childless, lonely males. the boys went from the desk to the synagogue and again back, a few of them sprawling at evening on their living-room sofa. Israel was once approximately to get bombed from each side, and everybody used to be confident that if Golda have been working the convey, and never that vulnerable, stuttering excuse for a guy, Eshkol, this may were handled months in the past. Edie considered that T. S. Eliot poem she have been learning in English type: within the room the ladies come and pass, speaking of Michelangelo. In her residence, it was once the boys coming and going, and so they have been consistently conversing approximately Meir. occasionally her mom and dad argued approximately how much cash they have been donating to Israel. Edie ate every little thing the boys ate, greater than the boys ate. They smoked, she ate. They drank espresso, she drank Coca-Cola. At evening she ate the leftovers. It didn’t subject, there has been consistently new nutrients coming during the door. She ate on behalf of Golda, improving from melanoma. She ate in tribute to Israel. She ate simply because she enjoyed to devour. She knew she enjoyed to consume, that her middle and soul felt complete whilst she felt complete, and in addition simply because she had heard certainly one of her father’s older neighbors, Abraham, talking approximately her to Naumann, blue-eyed, watery-skinned, a drinker, just a couple of years older than she was once, a tender guy in her apartment to examine and seek advice from up shut and private if she selected, which she had no longer.

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