Good in Bed Review
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Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner is a witty, sometimes sad, always engaging look at the life of reporter Cannie Sharpiro. Cannie is many things: friend, daughter, aspiring screenplay writer, lover, dog owner, the girl with a quick wit and a big heart. She’s every woman who has felt the pain of abandonment. She’s also a large girl.

Weiner’s novel hits us where we live: in a society that sends mixed messages. Ours is a world that preaches inner beauty but promotes double-zero-size air-brushed models as the epitome of physical perfection. It glorifies thin people but links virtually every social event to food and drink.

The story begins as Cannie discovers that her ex-boyfriend, Bruce, now writes a column (“Good in Bed”) and that this month’s story is about her (“Loving the Larger Woman”). But this is only one example of her humiliation. She also deals with further information about Bruce’s post-Cannie life via his column, her experiences in a weight loss group, her mother’s new and socially awkward life partner, and her father’s neglect and disapproval of her.

  
 
Cannie, despite her heartache, still loves Bruce and regrets her decision to break up with him. Maybe she’ll never find love again. Cannie’s friend tells her, “It’s about wanting what you can’t have. It’s the law of the universe. He loved you, you felt bored and suffocated. Now he’s moved on, and you’re desperate to have him back.” Still, it’s devastating that Bruce doesn’t return her feelings.

Cannie evolves throughout the story to learn about herself, love and life. In one of the interesting plot twists, Cannie befriends a celebrity, Maxi Ryder, and the two learn something from each other. Cannie gets an inside look into the celebrity life; Maxi learns how to have fun as a “normal person.” Cannie is smart, funny, empathetic, and talented, and Maxi quickly realizes what an amazing person Cannie is. Much later, Cannie sees it, too.

Some readers might find Weiner’s details of Cannie’s love life a little explicit, but I found these scenes written with the perfect balance of realism and figurative language. With a title like Good in Bed, most readers can assume that there will be some sexual content.

One of the many things I loved about this story was that Weiner doesn’t give us the typical storybook ending. Cannie doesn’t go on a diet and lose all that weight—which, in turn, magically transforms her life. Nor does she have some gorgeous guy swoop in to save the day. The fact is: Cannie is awesome as she is. It just takes her a while to figure it out.

Get comfortable before you sit down to read Good in Bed. Once you start, you won’t be going anywhere for a while.

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