Title: Good in Bed
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Rating: 5 of 5 stars
Summary from Goodreads:
For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She's even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body.
But the day she opens up a national women's magazine and sees the words "Loving a Larger Woman" above her ex-boyfriend's byline, Cannie is plunged into misery...and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.
I connected with Cannie from the beginning. She was smart, sassy, vulnerable, and sensitive. I could relate to her from the get-go, especially considering she is dealing with the same father issues I deal with from this very day. This paragraph sealed it for me:
“But oh, when he loved me, when he put his hand on my head, when I leaned my own head against him...there was no feeling in the world that could beat it. I felt important. I felt cherished. And I would do whatever it took, press the bar until my hands bled, to get that feeling again.” (p. 98)
Every emotion I’ve ever experienced with my father leaving me? Right there.
This was the first book of Jennifer Weiner’s that I’ve read and I’m not sure why I stayed away so long. She is a fantastic writer and made me completely fall into the plot and the life of Cannie Shapiro. From reading the introduction, I knew this wasn’t going to be a story of a girl who loses weight, gets the guy, and takes down her ex-boyfriend. Jennifer Weiner set out to make this story something more relatable and real. And I could relate to Cannie in her insecurities about her body, the way she couldn’t seem to fully walk away from an ex-boyfriend who was no good for her, and in her family struggles.
The plot moved along quickly and there were so many twists and turns and surprises that I didn’t expect from a “chick lit” book. Characters were introduced that added so much to the plot and I couldn’t imagine Cannie’s life without. It wasn’t a clean, sweet story of triumph. Not at all. It was messy and gritty and raw. It was real. It made me take a step back and examine my own life. I laughed with Cannie, I cried with Cannie, I felt proud of her when she stood up to her ex-boyfriend, and utterly sad during the most heart-wrenching part of the book.
When you can make me feel a character’s emotions in my own life, then you’ve done your job as an author. I wholly recommend this book and it was such a great example of women’s fiction for an aspiring writer. I’ll leave you with some of my favorite quotes:
“When you’re on a battleground, you don’t have the luxury of time to dwell on the various historical factors and sociopolitical influences that caused the war. You just keep your head down and try to survive it, to shove the pages back in the book, close to the covers and pretend that nothing’s broken, nothing’s wrong.” (p. 106)
“Things happen, you know? That’s my one big lesson from therapy. Things happen, and you can’t make them unhappen. You don’t get do-overs, you can’t roll back the clock, and the only thing you can change, and the only thing it does any good to worry about, is how you let them affect you.” (p. 372)