For twenty-eight years, things have been tripping along nicely for Cannie Shapiro. Sure, her mother has come charging out of the closet, and her father has long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her friends, her rat terrier, Nifkin, and her job as pop culture reporter for The Philadelphia Examiner. She’s even made a tenuous peace with her plus-size body. But the day she opens up a national women’s magazine and sees the words “Loving a Larger Woman” above her ex-boyfriend’s byline, Cannie is plunged into misery…and the most amazing year of her life. From Philadelphia to Hollywood and back home again, she charts a new course for herself: mourning her losses, facing her past, and figuring out who she is and who she can become.
My take: 3 looks
Love Cannie Shapiro! She is smart, witty, sassy, talented, and (ahem) PLUS SIZED! Jennifer Weiner hits a high note for women everywhere who love dessert, hate mirrors and loathe bathing suit shopping.
Cannie has a few unique issues, though. Her father abandoned her family when she was old enough to remember how it felt to be loved by him. Her mother is an out-of-the-closet lesbian living with her first partner, and her ex-boyfriend is writing about her in Weiner’s version of Cosmo.
On the plus side (pun fully intended), she has a wonderful job at a top publication, a stalwart best friend, a new friend who happens to be Hollywood’s biggest A-list star, and a so-ugly-it’s-cute dog with a less-than-flattering slang name.
While some of this felt a bit contrived (I totally didn’t buy the mom being a lesbian), most of it was quite wonderful. Her shock at the “big news” (no spoiler here!), her longing and second-guessing about breaking up with Bruce, her so-real comments at the weight loss meetings, and her all-encompassing rage at the end…all felt very palatable. Cannie was a real person to me, bringing tears to my eyes toward the end. That is the sign of a true reader buy-in, and I thank Jennifer Weiner for a great few hours on a Saturday afternoon!
This is the epitome of a by-the-beach-or-pool-chick-lit-ice-cream-sundae-read and I recommend.