Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: May 1st 2012 by William Morrow
It's the start of summer in the small Alabama town when siblings, David and Ruth Wasserman, arrive home from college. David, the older of the two, is not quite the same as when he first left town. He's not sociable, talkative or even anxious to play soccer. He's withdrawn, secretive, non-talkative and spends way too much time drinking and smoking weed.
Ruth is completely different; she's come home about 35 pounds lighter and feeling good about her self for the first time in her life. She's enjoying all the positive attention she's been getting and blowing off all the negative comments about her not eating and looking like a prison camp survivor.
She does have a problem, a big one, but will not admit it out loud. Through Ruth's inner dialogue, the reader gets a glimpse of her true feelings about food and her self esteem.
" ..thought about what it would be like to go back to the way I used to be. I couldn't do it. Not now. And it was stupidly easy to fool everyone, including myself, into thinking that this was just dieting. Deep down, I knew damn well that it wasn't. That it was a problem. But I was too scared of the alternative to do anything about it."
Even the parents have their own issues. Dad is angry and frustrated most of the time. Mom is a wishy-washy mess. They are feeling the empty nest and middle age creeping up on them resulting in some marital issues. They argue about the kid's seeming lack of responsibility. David and Ruth have typical teen attitudes; they just want to get away from home and their parents. They want idependence and not to be hovered over; all part of growing up, separating from parents and finding their own identity.
The siblings are once again lifeguarding at the local pool. One day, their composure is shaken as a little girl nearly drowns. Even though David was in the lifeguarding station, he didn't see what was happening but Ruth did. She jumped in and saved the girl. It took this near tragedy and the ensuing repercussions to get David and Ruth to face their problems.
In the author's note at the end, Fishman admits to an eating disorder while in college. This must be what gave her the insight at how a person with anorexia views food and themselves. Although I am sure I am not the target audience for this book, I thought it was reasonably well done but the end ties up a little too neatly for me. 3***
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by William Morrow/LT in exchange for my