August 17, 2003 in Books

In Her Shoes

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The novelist Jennifer Weiner writes about my life. Well at least it seems that way. In her debut novel Good In Bed which I read earlier this year, she tells the story of a young woman who is trying to come to terms with her body after her ex-boyfriend starts to write a monthly column about loving a larger woman. And now with her second novel, In Her Shoes which I just finished, it’s almost like Ms. Weiner picked up where she left off. Here she tells the story of two sisters, who have a dead mother, the older one (Rose) trying to take care of the younger (Maggie) who makes one poor choice after another and is constantly in need of rescuing. The only thing missing from my own life is the estranged grandmother (Ella) who reappears and the former male colleague (Simon) who is lurking in the background waiting for me to take him seriously as a potential boyfriend/future husband. Heck, there was even a mention of her parents meeting at the University of Michigan which as you many of you know is my alma mater. Ok, I have to admit that my younger sister never slept with one of my boyfriends, but she aged me considerable during those years I was her primary caretaker. And like Rose & Maggie, our relationship continues to be a roller coaster ride. Heck, she’s currently not speaking to me but that’s a whole other story. As I finished the novel, I couldn’t help but wonder like Rose why I wasn’t blessed with a normal family. Oh well! I suppose that’s what makes me interesting and unique. I just hope that when I meet my “Prince Charming”, he doesn’t get overwhelmed by it all. Btw, if he’s out there lurking, I just wish he would step forward. 🙂


  1. August 18, 2003 at 9:23 am


    I see you’ve adopted the healthy attitude of embracing the fact that you didn’t have a normal family and you are, albeit the hard way, a VERY interesting person because of it. I have found that the people I’m drawn to are the ones who have not had it easy. What’s that saying? “Adversity builds character”…something like that? You know Ursula, if you think about it, you can take those stories, change the names, and write a book!
    btw: Thanks for all the book reviews!

  2. August 17, 2003 at 10:34 pm

    Leigh Hanlon

    My friend _____ and I were talking about this very topic today over bloody marys at O’Donovan’s out on Irving Park Road. Our conclusion: Nobody’s family is normal and all of us are fucked up to one degree or another.
    Then we moved on to a spirited discussion of whether, if everybody on the outdoor patio all concentrated their mental powers, we could cause a table umbrella to burst into flames.

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