A NovelBook - 2013
From the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin comes a striking new novel about siblings, marriage and obesity
For Pandora, food is central to life, so central that she sometimes wonders if "She foraged" should be engraved on her tombstone. For her husband, Fletcher, a self-employed cabinetmaker who crafts lovely but unaffordable one-of-a-kind furniture, exercise is paramount: he spends hours a day cycling. But the couple's comfortable, if sometimes strained, routine is about to be irrevocably changed with the arrival of Pandora's big brother, Edison, who is now three times the size he was when the siblings last saw each other. He is, in fact, morbidly obese.
And it's not just the weight. Edison interjects himself into Pandora's world--breaking Fletcher's handiwork, making massive breakfasts for the family and, most disconcertingly, forming a bond with Pandora's stepchildren and opening doors to the past and to her parents that she would rather keep shut.
Determined to keep her family together, and to confront the literal elephant in the room, Pandora embarks on a challenge: she'll find an apartment for Edison, move in with him and support him financially, but only if he loses weight--enough weight to resemble the person he once was. It will be the hardest thing that Edison has ever done. The result is a series of transformations so shocking that it throws the family into chaos and presents Pandora with a challenge of her own: do you sometimes have to choose between the family you're born into and the one you've created?