What's eating her?
EVE'S APPLE by Jonathan Rosen Granta pounds 9.99
Sunday 07 September 1997
Ruth Simon is dying of a terminal hunger. As her body wastes away, so too does her future. Joseph, her lover, is locked into her struggle, feeding off her illness and using her weakness to heal his diminishing self-esteem. Tormented by the sudden death of his sister, he throws himself into the attempt to heal Ruth. Rosen exposes the personal demons, the pain and longing of his characters, allowing us to feel the terrifiying emptiness that consumes them.
By focusing on the emotions and pyschology of his characters, Rosen avoids writing a mere case study. The story is told through Joseph's eyes, giving an unusual male perspective on the female search for perfection. His need to understand leads us into the secret world of Ruth's diary: "She barely had to tickle her pink throat. Like sex ... better than sex ... it felt good afterwards, to step on the scale, 109. One pound less than before dinner."
Counterpointing this lonely vigil is a cast of vibrant, empathetic char acters. Through Dr Flek, a retired psychoanalyist, Rosen explores the philosophy of food, and our obsession with it. Flek emerges as the voice of truth, exposing the futility of Joseph's desperate search for a solution: "the things that make us human often make us ill." His mix of reason and acute sensitvity opens the private world of anorexia to the reader.
This is an exceptional novel. Rosen uses poetic prose to capture the tragedy of Ruth's eternal hunger, leaving us drained of emotion yet strangely inspired. In the battle between love and hunger, it is emotion, not obsession, that triumphs.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
Strictly Come Dancing 2014: Gregg Wallace joins line-up as final celebrities revealed
Great British Bake Off 2014: Diana Beard quits after falling ill
Great British Bake Off 2014: Ofcom receives 13 complaints about Baked Alaska episode
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Ariana Grande and Jessie J
Friends reunion: Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courteney Cox perform mini sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >