Picks and Pans Review: The Day I Ate Whatever I Wanted

updated 04/28/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/28/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Berg | [

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Most of the heroines in this collection are alone, overweight and processing regrets. Sounds like a downer; it's not. In the title story, a dieter acting for everyone who spends "a good third of your waking hours feeling bad about your desires" flees a Weight Watchers meeting for Dunkin' Donuts. In another story, a woman resentful of the intrusions of her grown children says with refreshing candor, "All this self-esteem crap was making for a society of selfish people who were careless with everything but themselves." She's saved by love—as is Rita, who takes a spur-of-the-moment trip to Vegas after the death of the husband who "dictated a life that was always too tame for her." That she finds romance at the airport is improbable, but it's also satisfying. Offer this up to the book club and—what the hell—serve chocolate.

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