The Middlesteins: A Novel

Front Cover
Grand Central Publishing, Oct 23, 2012 - Fiction - 288 pages
27 Reviews
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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - thewanderingjew - LibraryThing

I found this to be a very sad story about a family falling apart because it was never bound too tightly, from the beginning. It seemed to be governed by anger and a lack of remorse for the perceived ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Alphawoman - LibraryThing

Sometimes when you start a book you wonder if you are going to warm to these people. It took a long time for me to warm to and finish this sad story about a family - who are so totally dysfunctional ... Read full review

About the author (2012)

Jami Attenberg is the author of a story collection, Instant Love, and two novels, The Kept Man and The Melting Season. She has contributed essays and criticism to The New York Times, Print, Nylon, Time Out New York, BookForum, Nerve, and many other publications. She lives in New York and is originally from Chicago.

Bibliographic information