Skinny: A Novel by Diana Spechler

Skinny: A NovelSkinny: A Novel by Diana Spechler
Publication Date: April 26, 2011
Pages: 368
Source: From the Publisher
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Publisher: Harper Perennial

About the Book

After her father’s death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor, Sheena; the self-aggrandizing camp director, Lewis; his attractive assistant, Bennett; and a throng of combative teenage campers, she is confronted by a captivating mystery: her teenage half-sister, Eden, whom Gray never knew existed. Now, while unraveling her father’s lies, Gray must tackle her own self-deceptions and take control of her body and her life.

Visceral, poignant, and often wickedly funny, Skinny illuminates a young woman’s struggle to make sense of the link between hunger and emotion, and to make peace with her demons, her body, and herself.


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 as a counselor at a Fat Camp for kids, ironically run by some fat people themselves.  From the descriptions Gray, she is about 15-20 pounds overweight and not really fat herself.  I will not spoil one of the other reasons 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 the inability to cope in a productive fashion when life doesn’t go her way.


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