Author: Melissa Broder
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Book Description: A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today.
Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, by way of obsessive food rituals, while working as an underling at a Los Angeles talent management agency. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine. Rachel is content to carry on subsisting—until her therapist encourages her to take a ninety-day communication detox from her mother, who raised her in the tradition of calorie counting.
Early in the detox, Rachel meets Miriam, a zaftig young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop and is intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam—by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family—and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey.
Pairing superlative emotional insight with unabashed vivid fantasy, Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we as humans can compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is a tender and riotously funny meditation on love, certitude, and the question of what we are all being fed, from one of our major writers on the psyche—both sacred and profane.
Rating: 4 Stars
Review: From the first sentence of this book, I felt like our main character, Rachel, was so relatable. I was highlighting and writing down many memorable quotes in the beginning. Rachel is a reformed, non-practicing Jewish person, food is something she constantly fights, and her relationship with her family, is something that she struggles with. I was personally so entrenched from the beginning. However, the author does take a 180, when we meet Miriam.
Miriam, works at a frozen yogurt shop, and cannot quite understand why Rachel would never want any toppings on her yogurt. She is an Orthodox Jew, who has weight issues, but is entirely not consumed by them. Rachel and Miriam develop a relationship that borderlines on obsession in a comical way.
I loved Melissa Broder’s first novel Pisces, so much, I knew I would have get my hands on this book, and it did not disappoint. While this story is surreal, very sexual, and comical, Broder gives of us a story of woman who is trying to figure out her place in this world. Totally love this book so much.
Thank you NetGalley and Scribner for an Advanced Reader’s copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.