The Middlesteins

By Jami Attenberg
(Grand Central Publishing, Paperback, 9781455507207, 287pp.)

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

List Price: $15.00*
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Description

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.




About the Author
Jami Attenberg is the author of the story collection "Instant Love" and several novels, including "The Kept Man", "The Melting Season", and "The Middlesteins", which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. She has contributed essays and criticism to the" New York Times", " Real Simple", " Elle", the" Washington Post", and many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. Why can’t Edie divorce herself from her relationship with food? What makes her eat? When the story begins, her health is far gone. Do you think she could have learned to curb her appetite? If so, when?

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