The Bottom Line: If you're looking for her sister's bones, you'll have to dig deep. Back in the summer of 2002, I was curious about Cathi Hanauer's 1996 novel My Sister's Bones, so I picked it up at a Border's book store. I'm a sucker for books about eating disorders, although I'm starting to outgrow that particular interest. I was thinking this book might be interesting because it promised a story about a person with an eating disorder told from a different point of view other than the afflicted.
In Hanauer's book, readers do get a novel that is marginally about anorexia nervosa, but only marginally. In this case, the story is told through the eyes of fifteen year old Billie Weinstein, younger sister of eighteen year old Cassie Weinstein. On the front cover of the book, there's a quote from The Village Voice that reads "My Sister's Bones works a miracle... funny and idiosyncratic, elegant and simple... Hanauer gives power and dignity to the subject of anorexia." But as someone else wrote in their opinion of this book, anorexia is not really the main theme of My Sister's Bones. I think that Hanauer originally had anorexia in mind when she started to write this novel, but then somehow when she got cranked up into writing the book, she got off track and started writing about Billie's relationships with her friends and boyfriends instead. Then Billie's experience of watching her sister suffer from anorexia took a back seat and the novel lost its focus.
In any case, besides Billie and Cassie, readers also meet their parents, Jane and Michael. Michael Weinstein comes across as loud, overbearing and obnoxious. He's a cardiac surgeon who constantly pushes his daughters to succeed. Since Cassie is a freshman at Cornell, his approach apparently worked with her, or that's what readers are led to believe. He constantly drives Billie to learn new words for the PSAT so that she will be prepared to take the all important SAT test and she will get to attend a good...
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