Skinny, a Novel, by Diana Spechler is a complicated book filled with complicated characters. This book is darker than I anticipated but it drew me in to keep reading to see what happened. This is the kind of book you have to think about after you finish it to really grasp what happened.
Gray Lachmann is a twenty something single girl in New York. She is busy living a slightly bohemian life with her comedian boyfriend when her father dies. She and her father had been estranged due to her boyfriend’s religion. Gray is a VERY strong woman who had always watched her weight somewhat obsessively. When her father dies, her willpower also dies and she eats everything in sight.
Spechler’s descriptive writing is haunting:
“But bingeing on food is not like binge drinking. I was not the sad mysterious girl at the bar. There is no sexiness in the family-size bag of Bugles, no trophy for speed0eating fettucine Alfredo, or for missing, day after day, the ding-ding-ding in the brain that says “full.”
Gray thinks she finds a family secret and, after some sleuthing, abruptly leaves her boyfriend and New York to be a counseler at a weightloss camp for kids. Despite that the camp amplifies counselor’s eating disorders, Gray loses weight and f inds a new boyfriend.
This is really the story of Gray dealing with the grief of losing her father. It is a complicated story on many levels. Spechler does a masterful job at character development and at taking the plot places you never imagine.
Harper Perennial, via NetGalley.com, provided a review copy of this book for this post. All opinions are my own.
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