At first my eyes wouldn't make sense of the letters. Finally, they unscrambled. Loving a Larger Woman, said the headline, by Bruce Guberman. Bruce Guberman had been my boyfriend for just over three years, until we'd decided to take a break three months ago. And the larger woman, I could only assume, was me.
Cannie Shapiro never wanted to be famous. The smart, sharp, plus-sized pop culture reporter was perfectly content writing about other people's lives on the pages of the Philadelphia Examiner. But the day she opens up a national women's magazine to find out that her ex-boyfriend has been chronicling their ex-sex life is the day her life changes forever.
Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world, Bruce has written. And Cannie -- who never knew that Bruce saw her as a "larger woman," or thought that loving her was an act of courage -- is plunged into misery, and into the most amazing year of her life.
For the previous twenty-eight years, things had been tripping along nicely for Cannie. Sure, her mother's come charging out of the closet, and her father's long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her job, her friends, her tiny rat terrier, Nifkin, and her life in Philadelphia. She loves her apartment, and her commodious, quilt-lined bed. She has made a tenuous peace with her non-size 6 body. And she'd even felt okay about ending her relationship with Bruce. But now this.
After finding herself publicly humiliated, with the most intimate details of her life in print, Cannie embarks on a series of hilarious and heartbreaking adventures. From showdowns with her snooping office nemesis to run-ins with her mother's less-than-lovable life partner, from trips to the glamour spots of New York City and Los Angeles to a disastrous reconciliation with the man who took her heart and tossed it onto the New Jersey Turnpike, Cannie navigates an odyssey she never planned on taking. She mourns her losses, faces the past, and figures out who she really is, and who she can become.
Radiant with wit, bursting with surprises, and written with bite and bittersweet humor, Jennifer Weiner's deliciously readable debut novel reaches beyond Cannie's story and into the heart of every woman. It features an unbelievably funny cast of supporting characters, the strangest dog you'll ever encounter, and, best of all, Cannie Shapiro -- a heroine you'll never forget.
It is temping at first but unwise to assume Candace Shapiro is yet another Bridget Jones. Feisty, funny and less self-hating than her predecessor, Cannie is a 28-year-old Philadelphia Examiner reporter preoccupied with her weight and men, but able to see the humor in even the most unpleasant of life's broadsides. Even she is floored, however, when she reads "Good in Bed," a new women's magazine column penned by her ex-boyfriend, pothead grad student Bruce Guberman. Three months earlier, Cannie suggested they take a break apparently, Bruce thought they were through and set about making such proclamations as, "Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world." Devastated by this public humiliation, Cannie takes comfort in tequila and her beloved dog, Nifkin. Bruce has let her down like another man in her life: Cannie's sadistic, plastic surgeon father emotionally abused her as a young girl, and eventually abandoned his wife and family, leaving no forwarding address. Cannie's siblings suffer, especially the youngest, Lucy, who has tried everything from phone sex to striptease. Their tough-as-nails mother managed to find love again with a woman, Tanya, the gravel-voiced owner of a two-ton loom. Somehow, Cannie stays strong for family and friends, joining a weight-loss group, selling her screenplay and gaining the maturity to ask for help when she faces something bigger than her fears. Weiner's witty, original, fast-moving debut features a lovable heroine, a solid cast, snappy dialogue and a poignant take on life's priorities. This is a must-read for any woman who struggles with body image, or for anyone who cares about someone who does. (May 8) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Sassy, sad and funny at the same time
Posted April 28, 2011 by K , OttawaI loved reading about the trails and tribulations of Cannie after splitting with her boyfriend. Jennier Weiner accurately grasps the inner voice that is in every woman, be they large or thin. A thuroughly enjoyable story.
2 . Lucky find!
Posted August 26, 2009 by F , CaliforniaI just happened to pick this book up at random several years ago and give it a chance. You won't be sorry if you do the same! Wonderful characters that you want to keep reading about even once you have finished the book. It was great that they were brought back in Certain Girls and I hope that they have not been put to bed for good.
April 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
"Have you seen it?" asked Samantha.
I leaned close to my computer so my editor wouldn't hear me on a personal call.
"Oh, nothing. Never mind. We'll talk when you get home."
"Seen what?" I asked again.
"Nothing," Samantha repeated.
"Samantha, you have never once called me in the middle of the day about nothing. Now come on. Spill."
Samantha sighed. "Okay, but remember: Don't shoot the messenger."
Now I was getting worried.
"Moxie. The new issue. Cannie, you have to go get one right now."
"Why? What's up? Am I one of the Fashion Faux Pas?"
"Just go to the lobby and get it. I'll hold."
This was important. Samantha was, in addition to being my best friend, also an associate at Lewis, Dommel, and Fenick. Samantha put people on hold, or had her assistant tell them she was in a meeting. Samantha herself did not hold. "It's a sign of weakness," she'd told me. I felt a small twinge of anxiety work its way down my spine.
I took the elevator to the lobby of the Philadelphia Examiner, waved at the security guard, and walked to the small newsstand, where I found Moxie on the rack next to its sister publications, Cosmo and Glamour and Mademoiselle. It was hard to miss, what with the supermodel in sequins beneath headlines blaring "Come Again: Multiple Orgasm Made Easy!" and "Ass-Tastic! Four Butt Blasters to Get your Rear in Gear!" After a quick minute of deliberation, I grabbed a small bag of chocolate M&M's, paid the gum-chomping cashier, and went back upstairs.
Samantha was still holding. She said.