Dear Stacey Ballis,
Thank you for giving me such a fantastic and perfect summer read. Good Enough to Eat is a sweet story with a backbone that shows a characters flaws and makes you love her for it. I had alternatives motives when buying this book, but I have none recommending it.
Originally I bought this book because of Jen Lancaster. I have loved reading about Bravo nights and trips to the opera. I loved reading about the friendship and the hilarious things that happen. So of course, I knew I'd have to read this book. Ironically, I remember seeing this book in hardcover in Target a while back, before I put two and two together and remember how nice it seemed and how much the cover reminded me of home. So when Bill and I were at the Book Warehouse and I found this book, I snatched it up as fast as I could. The story is fabulous as it seems to begin where a big girl's happily ever after ends. If you are a big girl and then lose all the weight, what happens next? That's what I loved about this story. I have seen so many stories about women losing weight and then in the end they are skinny and they get the guy and everything is great. But it's not that simple. I love that the character has relapses and needs support. I respect the honesty of the what you may look like when all that weight is gone and how that makes you feel too. I love that losing a whole person sometimes means becoming a new person too.
But there is another side to this, food. I love good food. I always have. I love cooking and baking and that thing you feel feeding others. So when it comes to the food stories in the beginning of each chapter, not only could I relate, I was reminded of my own stories from my family. How my friends thought my mom must be constantly making apple pies because everytime they came over there was a pie there. How we HAD to make raviolis when the Patriots played or they wouldn't win and they tasted so so much better when they won. The first meal I made for Bill. The first things he made for me. My christmas chicken wings that try as I may, I cannot make them taste like my moms. And the best part of this is the memories that we all have with food. How no one makes something as good as mom. How the best times can sometimes have the best food. I have good food memories like many people and it's a nice connection we can all make. In my opinion, you are just fooling yourself if you say you don't have any good food memories. Lots of people don't want to talk about it, maybe they think that talking about food makes them look weak or unhealthy. Maybe, but food is not something that we can go without so why try to ignore it?
Besides all the food, I love that Mel doesn't follow the same generic path as you may think. The ending is one that doesn't feel the need to come to a clear and straight conclusion. I feel that some author's aren't brave enough to let the ending be not tidy and not happily ever after. But I do understand how wonderful friends can be in your life and I do feel a strong connection to that.
I spent the majority of the time reading this book in the sunshine on a boat. It was the perfect way to read this story, but I got so into it, I read it in the car, while everyone else was watching a movie and late into the night. I know that is the showing of a great story. I did not want it to end, but I couldn't stop. Thank you for this story and the strength to say out loud that food is good and so am I.
Good Enough to EatGood Enough to Eat