Good Enough to Eat by Stacey Ballis
Published by Berkley Trade, an imprint of Penguin
As someone who has been overweight her entire life until very recently, it might seem odd for Melanie to open a cafe, but after attending culinary school she has discovered how to make healthy food that actually tastes good and she wants to make this – and her own story – available to other people. But then, just around the time of her grand opening, Melanie’s husband announces that he is no longer in love with her and has been seeing someone else who he is leaving her for – her former boss and friend, in fact, a woman who is just as heavy as Melanie ever was. Now Melanie must learn to move forward, dealing with stress, anger, and sadness without eating emotionally. The fact of no longer being married also opens Melanie up to new relationships, both romantic and otherwise, of the sort that she has not encountered for a long, long time.
“Good Enough to Eat” was a fabulously emotionally authentic book. I honestly cannot remember the last character I read who was so 100% real as Melanie. She is devastated by the turn her life was taken and has serious trust issues because of it. And yet, she is still generous (even when she sort of regrets it) and caring, ready to cautiously open her heart again. She is also still dealing every day with the reality of her food addiction and weight loss and knows she will be for the rest of her life without being too self-pitying about it.
I really don’t know if there was anything I didn’t love about “Good Enough to Eat.” I really enjoyed the very realistic wrenches that Ballis threw into Melanie’s relationships, as well as the ways they were resolved. The plotting, characters, and writing all really came together, although I think that even had the plotting and writing been only adequate this book would have been worth reading just for the absolute authenticity Ballis infused into Melanie.
Very highly recommended, I’ll be checking out Stacey Ballis’s backlist after this.
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