Eat Only When You're Hungry by Lindsay Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
After positive reviews and a nod from Roxane Gay, and being one of the Book of the Month picks, my Newest Literary Fiction group declared this as a buddy read for September. It's the first book I grabbed for the month.
Most of the time, the unlikeable, older characters with disappointing lives are side characters, there for pity or amusement. Or they are the central character on a journey. I suppose Greg in this novel is on a journey too, to try to find his drug addict adult son GJ (Greg Junior), but his ex-wife refers to the quest as a "gesture" more than believing it will help.
We get to know Greg quite well by the end of the novel - his dietary habits, his willful denial of his health concerns, his bad decision making, his tendency not to believe something until he's seen it for himself, his lack of change over the course of two wives, the way his life has deteriorated further since retirement. It's like seeing the longterm downside to a lack of selfcare, clueless parenting, and a lack of self-awareness in relationships. But Hunter writes it all in a way where I felt incredibly sympathetic towards all of them.
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