By Jonathan Rosen
Published by Picador
on September 1, 20014
Cover image and synopsis from Goodreads:
Ruth Simon is beautiful, smart, talented, and always hungry. As a teenager, she starved herself almost to death, and though outwardly healed, inwardly she remains dangerously obsessed with food. For Joseph Zimmerman, Ruth's tormented relationship with eating is a source of deep distress and erotic fascination. Driven by his love for Ruth, and haunted by his own secrets, Joseph sets out to unravel the mystery of hunger and denial. This gripping debut novel is a powerful exploration of appetite, love, and desire.
I just finished this one yesterday. It was a bit up and down for me: there were parts I really liked and parts that I didn’t like. It certainly wasn’t what I expected, and I can’t say I loved the ending, as I found it somewhat abrupt. I wanted some finality, I suppose.
Joseph’s fascination, interest, obsession, whatever you call it, with Ruth’s eating disorder was what initially drew me to the book, but I think in the end I found it off-putting, such as the diary reading. I wanted him to want to help her, but it seemed like all he wanted to do was study her disorder.
There were parts of the book that I really enjoyed, like when Joseph and Ruth followed the skinny girl out of the library, and the parts about Joseph’s job teaching the Russian students, but I don’t think this book measured up to what I wanted it to be.