Jennifer Weiner's Good in Bed
is the story of a year in the life of a late-twentysomething American woman: Cannie, a journalist on the Philadelphia Examiner
, who has recently broken up with her boyfriend of three years (cue endless similarities with countless other books aimed at young Western women). Fortunately, Weiner's book has enough originality to break out from the mould, with an overweight heroine and a mother who has recently moved in with her lesbian lover. Good in Bed
has its funny moments, dealing with humour and sensitivity with Cannie's status as a "larger woman", her bizarre family and her regrets at splitting up with Bruce, but there is often more a feeling of pathos than laughter. Cannie is not a tragic figure through her dress size--Weiner successfully side-steps any attempt to pity her or her fellow larger women at a weight-loss clinic, taking the humorous path instead--but through her relationship and career predicaments. It is therefore not clear why Weiner cast Cannie as a plus-size, unless to drive home the eternal fact that whatever their size, all women have the same neuroses inside. Cannie's year offers more lows than highs--with a particularly heart-breaking low towards the end of the novel, which is unlikely to be read by anyone with even a wry smile--and it therefore is not a "feel good to be a woman" novel. For laugh-out-loud writing with a dash of pathos try Shannon Olson's Welcome to My Planet
, but for sensitive and ultimately tear-inducing touching narration try Good in Bed
. --Olivia Dickinson
--This text refers to an alternate
From Publishers Weekly
It is temping at first but unwise to assume Candace Shapiro is yet another Bridget Jones. Feisty, funny and less self-hating than her predecessor, Cannie is a 28-year-old Philadelphia Examiner reporter preoccupied with her weight and men, but able to see the humor in even the most unpleasant of life's broadsides. Even she is floored, however, when she reads "Good in Bed," a new women's magazine column penned by her ex-boyfriend, pothead grad student Bruce Guberman. Three months earlier, Cannie suggested they take a break apparently, Bruce thought they were through and set about making such proclamations as, "Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world." Devastated by this public humiliation, Cannie takes comfort in tequila and her beloved dog, Nifkin. Bruce has let her down like another man in her life: Cannie's sadistic, plastic surgeon father emotionally abused her as a young girl, and eventually abandoned his wife and family, leaving no forwarding address. Cannie's siblings suffer, especially the youngest, Lucy, who has tried everything from phone sex to striptease. Their tough-as-nails mother managed to find love again with a woman, Tanya, the gravel-voiced owner of a two-ton loom. Somehow, Cannie stays strong for family and friends, joining a weight-loss group, selling her screenplay and gaining the maturity to ask for help when she faces something bigger than her fears. Weiner's witty, original, fast-moving debut features a lovable heroine, a solid cast, snappy dialogue and a poignant take on life's priorities. This is a must-read for any woman who struggles with body image, or for anyone who cares about someone who does.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.