Good in Bed
Cannie Shapiro never wanted to be famous. The smart, sharp, plus-sized pop culture reporter was perfectly content writing about other people's lives on the pages of the Philadelphia Examiner. But the day she opens up a national women's magazine to find out that her ex-boyfriend has been chronicling their ex-sex life is the day her life changes forever.
Loving a larger woman is an act of courage in our world, Bruce has written. And Cannie -- who never knew that Bruce saw her as a "larger woman," or thought that loving her was an act of courage -- is plunged into misery, and into the most amazing year of her life.
For the previous twenty-eight years, things had been tripping along nicely for Cannie. Sure, her mother's come charging out of the closet, and her father's long since dropped out of her world. But she loves her job, her friends, her tiny rat terrier, Nifkin, and her life in Philadelphia. She loves her apartment, and her commodious, quilt-lined bed. She has made a tenuous peace with her non-size 6 body. And she'd even felt okay about ending her relationship with Bruce. But now this.
After finding herself publicly humiliated, with the most intimate details of her life in print, Cannie embarks on a series of hilarious and heartbreaking adventures. From showdowns with her snooping office nemesis to run-ins with her mother's less-than-lovable life partner, from trips to the glamour spots of New York City and Los Angeles to a disastrous reconciliation with the man who took her heart and tossed it onto the New Jersey Turnpike, Cannie navigates an odyssey she never planned on taking. She mourns her losses, faces the past, and figures out who she really is, and who she can become.
Radiant with wit, bursting with surprises, and written with bite and bittersweet humor, Jennifer Weiner's deliciously readable debut novel reaches beyond Cannie's story and into the heart of every woman. It features an unbelievably funny cast of supporting characters, the strangest dog you'll ever encounter, and, best of all, Cannie Shapiro -- a heroine you'll never forget.
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Reading Group Guide
1. With Good in Bed, Jennifer Weiner has garnered a lot of early praise for her alternately hilarious and poignant dialogue, and also for her pitch-perfect ear in rendering the conversational rhythms of Cannie's first-person narrative voice. Looking back through the novel, what is it about the dialogue that works so well? In what ways does it serve to subtly develop each character's motivations and idiosyncrasies?
2. Discuss, in connection with the previous question, the specific tone and quality of Cannie Shapiro's voice. What techniques does Weiner employ to make Cannie's musings and descriptions come across so intimately? What sets the author's style apart from that of other contemporary authors? To which novelists would you say Weiner bears the closest comparison?
3. Cannie Shapiro is, among other things, a woman struggling to emerge from the shadow cast by her father's emotional abuse and aggressive abandonment. How successful is she, finally, in doing so?
4. In what ways do we see the painful legacy of Cannie's early relationship with her father (whom she dubs "the Original Abandoner") at work in the action of this novel, affecting the tenor of Cannie's relationships, choices, and/or motivations? To what degree can we view Bruce as a stand-in for her father?
5. "Maybe," Bruce writes in his notorious Moxie debut, "it was the way I'd absorbed society's expectations, its dictate see more
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