Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stranger Here (by Jen Larsen)

I just finished reading Stranger Here for the third time, so I guess I should write about it! (The first time was in rough draft form, the second was a lightning-fast read where I was mostly noticing what was added, cut, and changed, and of course skimming for my name. Then the third time I read it for real.) It's hard to know what to say about a book that I am a character in. (I have "bosoms" and big eyes and I wink saucily, so you know, it's a fairly true-to-life representation.) Is it biased if I say that it's a really really good book?

Jen writes about her weight-loss surgery and about how becoming thin didn't magically fix her life. It's definitely not a formulaic memoir, and it's written in her signature amazing style, honed by years of brilliant blog writing. People gave it four stars, it sold out its first print run, it seems like everyone who's reading it loves it, even those who don't know Jen personally. So it's not just me, is what I'm saying here.

As for the whole me-as-character thing, I remember many of the incidents and conversations in the book vividly and I think she captured them well. I still remember the meal at the Greek restaurant that she mentions, where I tried Greek yogurt with honey for the first time, or the first day she moved to San Francisco, when we were young and silly and rode those carts around the supermarket. I think one of the best qualities of our friendship and one of the reasons it endures is that we aren't judgmental of each other, and I think that came across in the end.

Read the book!


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