Milk Fed: A Novel
Like Portnoy’s Complaint, Milk Fed is a story containing food, sex, Jewish food, Jewish characters, and anxiety. Given all that, it is a very fun book to read. The characters seem fully developed, and as we move through the story with them, we are anxious for the next reveal.
Unlike another powerful novel about anorexia, The Girls at 17 Swann Street, the main charatcer in Milk Fed functions despite her disease. Her obsession with her caloric intake and the numbers that frame her food intake, while obsessive, remains comedic. Even Rachel’s trips to her therapist are treated in a light-hearted way. Rachel doesn’t take herself or her disease seriously until she meets her nemesis: an overweight Jewish girl who seems unconcerned about her body image.
The girl, Miriam, unlike Rachel, still practices her religion and lives with her family. Rachel, on the other hand, has put a continent between herself and her family in an effort to detox from their deleterious effect on her life. In spite of the seriousness of Rachel’s disorder, this is a fun and sexy book to read. It is altogether enjoyable.
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