Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing

Returning to her nonfiction roots, Jennifer Weiner (Who Do You Love) shares life experiences with self-deprecating humor and raw honesty in her first collection of personal essays. Weiner, who started her writing career as a journalist, includes some previously published work, like her New York Times article "Mean Girls in the Retirement Home," but the majority of the pieces are new and focused on her theme, "You fall, you get hurt, you get up again."

From body image to breast feeding, diversity in publishing to Hollywood, Weiner opens the gates on the issues and experiences that have combined to define this popular author of 14 books, mother of two children and daughter of a mentally ill father. Her candid discussion of the turmoil her family endures when their patriarch abandons them physically and financially, growing more and more mentally unstable, and the fear she experiences when he shows up unexpectedly at a book signing, reveal a life complete with battle scars and healing wounds. Nevertheless, the humor she injects throughout reflects insights that comes from hard-learned lessons.

As evidenced in these essays, Weiner has had her share of trips and falls, sometimes of her own making and sometimes forced upon her. But her resilience and gumption are motivating. Fans of her work will appreciate the events that have shaped her work, but readers needn't be familiar with her fiction to find emotional connections in these pages. Those in need of the inspiration to "get up again" will uncover plenty in Weiner's Hungry Heart. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

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