Skinny: A Novel by Diana Spechler
Published by Harper Perennial
Published on: April 26, 2011
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Women
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About the Book
To escape thegrief she feels following her father’s death, twenty-six year old Brooklynite Gray Lachmann becomesa counselor at a summer camp for overweight children, where she discovers shehas her own demons to battle both emotionally and physically. In Skinny, the ambitious, accomplished, anddarkly humorous second novel fromreader-favorite Diana Spechler—author of Who ByFire and acontributor to Rumpus Women Volume 1—a vividly realized cast of characters mustcome to terms with eating disorders, buried secrets, and the trials of growingup.
I really, really wanted to like Skinny: A Novel by Diana Spechler , but was unable to find anything about the book that I liked personally which was very disappointing. The premise sounded both interesting and witty and it was a topic that I have never really read about before. From the moment we are introduced to the main character, she lacks any kind of personality and comes across as unbelievably whiny and self-absorbed.
It’s not very often that after I have read a book that I find myself still asking what the point of the entire thing was. Gray finds herself at as a counsellor at a Fat Camp for kids, ironically run by some fat people themselves. From the descriptions Gray, she is about 15-20 pounds over weight and not really fat herself. I will not spoil one of the other reasons about why she is at the camp. but needless to say, it is not an environment that she needs to be a part of. She rather bizarrely blames herself for her father’s death from a massive heart attack, even though he was morbidly obese by all descriptions. Rather than deal with her grief, she begins binge eating and as such puts on those dreaded 15 pounds.
Rather than get professional help to get to the underlying reasons for her binge eating, she takes herself and her unhealthy mindset to the fat camp where she is supposed to be helping kids. Then comes the casual sex, and cheating on the boyfriend who genuinely cares for her and is waiting for her at home. I’m not really down with this skinny. shallow and unstable girl being put in a position of authority over children who need genuine help to make healthy changes to their lifestyle. Gray would have been better off on a psychiatrist’s couch getting much-needed help for inability to cope in a productive fashion when life doesn’t go her way.