This is a disturbing novel. Many readers look at it as the story of three generations of a dysfunctial family. If you look at 3 generations of any family, I'm sure you will find several oddballs. I believe this novel is speaking to us, the American people. Every day we are bombarded with ads about sinfully delicious food and diets which are sinlessly delicious. There are reality shows like "The Biggest Loser" and "Runway Model". How many cooking shows are on tv each day? As a nation, we are obsessed with: health food, natural food, spicey food, gluten free food, chocolate, fast food, snacks,et. Juxtaposed to all this food, are the size zero and less models and girls who are immitating them.
The Middlesteins are certainly a troubled family. Edie hides in her food. Her husband, Richard, uses her weight as a door way out of a relationship he helped to create. Robin, their daughter,turns from food and uses alcohol for comfort. Her brother and sister in law seek solace in pot.
I can understand why many readers will be uncomfortable while reading this. Instead of reading should they be walking on the treadmill. Should they be having a cookie with that cup of coffee? Is their hair thinning due to age or stress? Can they fit into their attire reserved for funerals? Have they allowed friends and family to become invisable? Will they show up for the funeral feast?