Cannie Shapiro has more issues than the Philadelphia Examiner, the paper where she works as a weddings feature/celebrity gossip columnist. She’s overweight, she has daddy and abandonment issues, she can’t stand her mother’s girlfriend and she’s on a break from her boyfriend. Well, technically, it’s a break. He seems to think it’s over and is fodder for his new column called “Good in Bed.” As you can tell, Cannie has a lot going on.
Since this is her first book, and I’ve loved some of her later work, I’ll give Weiner a pass for this long, meandering tale that could have been much shorter had she cut down on some of the main character’s whining and gnashing of the teeth. It’s pathetic to watch her try to reclaim Bruce, her ex-boyfriend, even after he’s written an article about her called, “Loving a Larger Woman.” And while she bemoans the fact that he’s done so, the article is actually quite flattering. She doesn’t quite see it that way. Even so, it’s not enough to keep her from asking him to take her back. Calling him repeatedly, practically begging for sympathy sex, making a fool out of herself over and over again for a man who is so obviously still stuck in a dudebro phase even though he’s 30 is just pathetic.
There are positives in Cannie’s life. She joins a weight loss group and befriends the women in her support group, as well as the physician that runs it. And thanks to an interview that she stumbled into, she’s become good friends with the current Hollywood “It” girl, Maxi.
With all that is going right with her life, Cannie still can’t get past how her father abandoned her family years ago and how she feels abandoned by Bruce. Honestly, it got to be annoying. When we finally reach the point where she’s fed up and decides to take action, she goes overboard and angry Cannie is even more difficult to like than whining Cannie.
Of course, there’s a happy ending, but boy does it take forever to get there. Fans of Jennifer Weiner will appreciate how far she’s come since this book was first published. Even then, I’m in no rush to pick up the sequel to Good in Bed. Though it’s probably much better, I’ve no real desire to return to Cannie’s world.
Listening time: 13 hours, 59 minutes
Published: April 2002
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