Hungry Heart, Jennifer Weiner: Book Review

hungry heart jennier weiner book reviewAtria
Hungry Heart Book Cover Hungry Heart
Jennifer Weiner

She’s also a mom, a daughter, and a sister; a former rower and current cyclist; a best friend and a reality TV junkie. In her first foray into nonfiction, she takes the raw stuff of her personal life and spins into a collection of essays on modern womanhood as uproariously funny and moving as the best of Tina Fey, Fran Lebowitz, and Nora Ephron.

Jennifer grew up as an outsider in her picturesque Connecticut hometown (“a Lane Bryant outtake in an Abercrombie & Fitch photo shoot”) and at her Ivy League college, but finally found her people in newsrooms in central Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, and her voice as a novelist, activist, and New York Times columnist.

No subject is off-limits in this intimate and honest essay collection: sex, weight, envy, money, her mom’s newfound lesbianism, and her estranged father’s death. From lonely adolescence to modern childbirth to hearing her six-year-old daughter’s use of the f-word—fat­­—for the first time, Jennifer Weiner goes there, with the wit and candor that have endeared her to readers all over the world.

By turns hilarious and deeply touching, this collection shows that the woman behind treasured novels like Good in Bed and Best Friends Forever is every bit as winning, smart, and honest in real life as she is in her fiction.

This contains quotes from the book

*Special thanks to Atria for allowing us to review Jennifer Weiner’s Hungry Heart

Jennifer Weiner‘s Hungry Heart won me over from the very first chapter. The way Weiner is able to understand and relate to exactly how girls feel about weight and heartbreak is amazing. She’s able to capture who she is and reading her book allowed me to relate to her on a deeper level. Just as I did, I am sure other readers will find Weiner’s book refreshing and uplifting in more ways than one.

Like I said before, she moved me from the first chapter and she kept moving me throughout her whole memoir. I picked up this book because Weiner is one of my favorite authors. My favorite book by her is Who Do You Love? When I saw that she wrote a memoir, I just knew it would be good.

In this book, she really goes into depth on the issues that impacted her writing career. When she was little, she didn’t have very many friends so she relied on books. By reading so many books, she realized then that was what she wanted to be: a writer. I was able to relate to this because I have read books my whole life; as with Weiner, books afforded me the same comfort growing up.

“I wanted to write novels for the girls like me, the ones who never got to see themselves on TV or in the movies, the ones who learned to flip quickly past the fashion spreads in Elle and Vogue because nothing in those pictures would ever fit, the ones who learned to turn away from mirrors and hurry past their reflections and instantly unfocus their eyes with their own image.”

—excerpt from Jennifer Weiner’s Hungry Heart

In each chapter, Weiner is able to share an important memory that she remembers throughout her life. For instance, she talks about the lasting impact of when her dad decided to abandon his family and to never come back. She was not only upset and devasted by her father’s decision, but it had an even more painful effect on the entire family. But after the initial hurt, she realized she could put this pain into her writing.

Another concept she draws on in her memoir is about what it was like to go through a divorce and having to raise her daughters on her own – both instances which greatly affected her writing. Weiner also makes it a point to resonate with other women who have experienced divorce, seeing as she’s been through the tribulation herself, it only makes her writing of those experiences more compelling. It’s amazing how she is able to talks about these tough issues with such grace, it really lets her readers know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how dark it seems. The journey we trek through life is what matters.

“I got this far, and I got some stories along the way, and maybe that was the point, the point of the whole thing, the point all along.

—excerpt from Jennifer Weiner’s Hungry Heart

Hungry Heart will have you will laughing, crying and smiling with every turn of a page. Weiner does an excellent job making you feel like she’s speaking to you as a close friend of hers. Her writing is warming and makes you feel good, and I would give her five stars for that alone. I recommend this to all the women out there in need of a friend who gets them. Weiner gets the majority of the women because she’s been through it all too, which makes this a very enjoyable read.

Women’s stories matter. They tell us who we are, they give us places to explore our problems, to try on identities and imagine happy endings. They entertain us, they divert us, they comfort us when we’re lonely or alone. Women’s stories matter. And women matter, too.”

—excerpt from Jennifer Weiner’s Hungry Heart

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Jessica Duffield
the authorJessica Duffield
Contributing Writer
I am a junior in college. Books are my passion and I hope to work in book publishing once I graduate from journalism school.