by Jennifer Weiner

April 2002
ISBN: 0-7434-1817-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Trade Paperback

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner is just one of those books that fairly crackles with humor and wit. This is a book with the most realistic, funny characters I’ve ever had the fortune to read.

Cannie Shapiro is a plus-sized, 28-year old reporter for a Philadelphia newspaper. While her life is not the best she thinks it could be, she is fairly satisfied with what it is, particularly since she’s been able to almost come to grips with the fact that she is not rail thin and probably won’t ever be as skinny as a model. Everything is fine in her world—she has great friends and a wonderful little dog that she loves. And then it happens. The misery that always seems to be waiting begins to encroach upon her life.

The cause of this misery is none other than her louse of an ex-boyfriend, who also happens to be a writer. He writes an article entitled “Loving a Larger Woman” for a national magazine. In this article, even though he doesn’t mention her name, he strips Cannie bare for the whole world to see. Everything is exposed—her foibles, her fears and her insecurities. This, of course, sends Cannie into a tailspin of self-doubt, self-pity and anger. She even confronts the louse of an ex-boyfriend in a scene about which there is nothing I could say except to read it!

Cannie’s ex’s betrayal also sends her into a journey of self-discovery where she confronts her fears and her past and comes out stronger for having done so. Though this sounds hokey, this book is anything but as we follow Cannie on her journeys, all of them—including the one that takes her from Philadelphia to Hollywood and back again and the one that takes her from self-doubt and anger to possibility, hope and joy. This book is so rich and full of life that I couldn’t stop myself from reading the book until I’d found out all of the ends and outs of Cannie’s life.

The secondary characters are also engaging. We meet Cannie’s mother, a wonderfully tell it like it is lesbian divorcee, we meet her friends and we also meet Cannie’s new boyfriend who sounds like just what the doctor ordered. Ms. Weiner has put together a lovely debut. All of the characters are skillfully drawn and Cannie is an inviting, witty character who is so realistic that the reader will find herself instantly making a connection. The book is full of surprises and you won’t be able to put it down!

Reviewed in August 2004 by Lisa.

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