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.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Martin Scorsese 'in shock' after death on set of new film Silence
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
The secret joke hidden in Silence of the Lambs' most famous line
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures