Edie and Richard have been married for over thirty years, living in the Chicago suburbs. Everyone who knew them -even their own children Robin and Benny agreed that Edie was a tough woman to love, but no one expected Richard to walk out on her, especially not in her condition. Edie is fifty-nine years old, she weighs 300 pounds, and her doctors have told her she'll die if she doesn't stop eating.
As Richard is shut out by the family and seeks solace in the world of internet dating, Robin is dragged back from the city and forced to rebuild a relationship with her mother. Meanwhile Benny and his neurotic wife Rachelle try to take control of the situation. But have any of them stopped to think about whether Edie really wants to be saved?
Written with sly humour, warmth and great insight, The Middlesteins is a novel about what it means to be part of a family.
The Middlesteins had me from its very first pages -- Jonathan Franzen Family ties are anything but simple, and the joy of this book lies in Attenberg's merciless, tender, often brilliantly funny peeling back of the layers of history. Sublime. -- Kate Saunders * Daily Mail * Flows like double cream ... Like the best culinary confections, Attenberg's prose is complex, bitter as well as tender * Sunday Telegraph * Blazing, ferocious and greathearted ... The Middlesteins will blow you away -- Lauren Groff Attenberg makes her characters' thoughts - Richard and Benny in particular - seem utterly real, and her wry, observational humor often hits sideways rather than head-on ... [A] wonderfully messy and layered family portrait * Kirkus * The Middlesteins, the novel, is great literature: warm, tragic, funny and deeply, complexly, entirely human. -- Stefan Merrill Block This gem of a book is swift, moving and brutally honest, but it has a family-centric moral at its heart: Without family, we are nothing. * New York Post * Attenberg is superb at mocking the cliches of middle-class life by giving them the slightest turn to make people suddenly real and wholly sympathetic. * Washington Post * Attenberg evokes memorable moments of authentic sadness and tenderness while thoughtfully and comically examining the question of what we inherit from our families. In the case of the Middlesteins, it is many things, including their sometimes-enduring love for each other. * San Fransisco Chronicle * Edie pulses with life no matter how close she seems to dying, and her character is emblematic of the tough compassion Attenberg exhibits throughout the novel. * Chicago Tribue * The Middlesteins is a marvel. * Molly Ringwald * The Middlesteins is an absolute pleasure. * Francesca Segal * Attenberg has the Tolstoyan gift for creating life on the page. Sometimes all she needs to capture a soul is a couple of sentences. But the pleasure she takes in these people goes beyond compassion...When Attenberg shows us the world through their eyes, they're not just interesting and sympathetic; they're a treat to be with. * Business Week * A wonderfully messy and layered family portrait. * Publishers Weekly * The Middlesteins is a tender, sad and funny look at a family and their mother. In fact, it's so readable, it's practically edible. * NPR * Throughout this poignant novel, the characters wrestle with two defining questions: What do we owe each other after a life together? What do we owe ourselves? * O Magazine * The Middlesteins masterfully reveals the emotional landscape of one family's unusual connections and disconnections - and allows the hope that different connections may take place. Just another quirky family story? Anything but. * Shelf Awareness * Kinetic with hilarity and anguish, romance and fury, Attenberg's rapidly consumed yet nourishing novel anatomizes our insatiable hunger for love, meaning, and hope. * Booklist * Jami Attenberg has a gift for making you sympathize with each and every one of her characters. The result is a rich family portrait that's sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious, and gripping all the way through. The Middlesteins are every bit as complex and contradictory as your family, or mine. I'm still thinking about them long after I turned the final page. * J. Courtney Sullivan * I couldn't help absolutely devouring The Middlesteins. This smorgasbord of a book about food, family, love, sex, and loss is like the Jewish The Corrections, yet menschier and with a heart-and it's hilarious! Also, it made me add more cinnamon to a pie I was baking. You'll understand why once you read it. * Jenna Blum * The Middlesteins is a truly original American novel, at once topical and universally timeless. Jami Attenberg has created a Midwestern Jewish family who are quintessentially familiar but fiercely, mordantly idiosyncratic. This novel will make you laugh, cry, cringe in recognition, and crave lamb-cumin noodles. This is a stunningly wonderful book. * Kate Christensen * A comedy of manners, its dark moments alleviated by small epiphanies and snatched moments of joy * Jewish Chronicle * Attenberg writes well, with economy and a welcome lack of sentimentality * Financial Times * Funny, eccentric ... warm and profound * Red * Moving, hilarious * Observer * This epic tale of marriage, family and addiction is full of humour and heart * Good Housekeeping * Superb ... a great storyteller * Evening Standard * A complex confection, bittersweet and tender * Sunday Telegraph * Superb ... Attenberg is a great storyteller * Scotsman *
Number Of Pages: 288
Published: 5th September 2013
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.23
Edition Number: 1