Tuesday, October 11, 2016
No subject is off-limits in these intimate and honest stories: sex, weight, envy, money, her mother’s coming out of the closet, her estranged father’s death. From lonely adolescence to modern childbirth to hearing her six-year-old daughter say the f-word—fat—for the first time, Jen dives deep into the heart of female experience, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.
Hilarious and moving, Hungry Heart is about yearning and fulfillment, loss and love, and a woman who searched for her place in the world, and found it as a storyteller. -- Atria
I wasn't entirely sure that I wanted to read the new book HUNGRY HEART: ADVENTURES IN LIFE, LOVE, AND WRITING by Jennifer Weiner. I consider myself a pretty big fan and I think I've read all of her adult novels. However, I will admit that they are hit and miss for me the past few years. The thing is, Ms. Weiner is a somewhat controversial figure in her public life... or should I say on Twitter; and I don't always agree with how she conveys her message (even when I do agree with her message!) Truth be told, I wasn't sure I'd like 400 pages of her story.
Well count me wrong! I actually enjoyed HUNGRY HEART quite a bit, and I give major kudos to Ms. Weiner for being so honest. Don't get me wrong, Ms. Weiner can be hilarious. (Proof in point is her debut novel GOOD IN BED which I loved!) And I did find HUNGRY HEART to be very funny. However, it was her honestly in dealing with the more serious issues in her life that really captured my interest. She delved into her relationship (or lack thereof) with her father, her mother's decision to come out as a lesbian, her weight issues, her divorce, and more!
After finished HUNGRY HEART, I felt as if I understood Ms. Weiner much better; and I even understand her tendency to lash out sometimes on social media. Just because she is a public figure and best-selling author, I guess I assumed that her life was pretty amazing. Don't get me wrong, she does have a pretty great life (as she will admit), but she also dealt with some pretty serious issues in her past that have affected her. And that goes back to my respect for how much she was willing to share in this story. She didn't always portray herself in the best light. Not even close.
When I say that Ms. Weiner was honest in this story, I mean brutally honest. I don't want to portray her as some hero because I suspect that many of her readers will have experienced similar problems; however, I do think that her openness about her challenges might help other women who read HUNGRY HEART. She openly describes some pretty ugly times in her life and how she managed to bounce back. There is no doubt that Ms. Weiner was shaped by the sum of her experiences, and she probably is a better writer as a result.
Overall, I definitely appreciated HUNGRY HEART, and I highly recommend it to her fiction fans as well as other female readers who enjoy a good memoir.
Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.