Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love and Writing by Jennifer Weiner Audio Book: 13 hours, 15 minutes 416 pages
OMgosh! What a life this gal has lived and how hilarious she tells about her experiences even the difficult ones. She went from growing up in a happy home to her father philandering and her mother finally kicking him out over it. Her father becomes addicted to heroin and crack in his senior years and her mother comes out of the closet as a proud lesbian and marries her second girlfriend. That right there is enough fodder for a t.v. sitcom but wait! There is so much to take in as you look through Jennifer’s eyes at her life so far. Always a step outside the norm, the girls she grew up with were always bingeing and purging their meals while Jennifer ate everything she wanted to dealing with their cutting remarks but not letting it stop her from being the person she was meant to be. She never lacked for boyfriends as a size 16 and while her feelings got hurt because she was profiled as a “fat girl” pretty much all her life it has in no way ever stopped her from anything she wanted to do, well, there was that time at Princeton when she joined the rowing team and the coach insisted she lose weight or get thrown off the team and she argued that regardless of her size she was a heck of a rower and what did size have to do with anything, anyway? She could outdo most if not all of her thin teammates. She has dealt with prejudices over her size, over her being Jewish, over her lack of finances – ie. While working and attending Princeton she was barely squeaking by on her paycheck (her Dad had decided to stop paying her tuition without telling her) so she would stop in at a bar that had free food out during their happy hour and she would try to fill up while nursing a drink which the barmaid would give her hard looks over though Jennifer did her best to ignore them because she couldn’t afford to buy food and she loved to eat. She even got dissed over her writing – while both were featured guest speakers on a writing panel, Kurt Vonnegut called her a hack!. Her sister was always vying to be the center of attention though in later years they teamed up and were always there for one another along with her two brothers. She and her sister would always try to get a rise out of their mother (and everyone else). They would say things just trying to frazzle their mother because she was perpetually positive and always spouting old adages whether they were actually appropriate for the situation or not. Her younger sister was always goading their grandmother, too, and she would mouth words instead of saying them out loud when their grandmother’s hard of hearing boyfriend was around just to get under her grandmother’s skin. Jennifer married twice, has two grown daughters and has loved and lost a dog who totally understood her and she mourned for days inconsolable when she lost him. When her father died, she asked if she could pay for his funeral with her American Express card so she could at least get bonus points for all the money she was spending. She is funny, smart, says what she thinks and makes no apologies, she has been through a lot and come out on top (bestselling author on the NYT bestseller list, 14 books under her belt, one of her titles was made into a film with Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz, mom, wife, friend)– take that mean girls from her past, rowing coach, departed father, Kurt Vonnegut and all other naysayers ! A fun read, treat yourself, you will laugh out loud, and appreciate a fellow soul who takes good and bad in stride and valiantly marches on with a hilarious comment or several.