Picks and Pans Review: Thin Is the New Happy

updated 09/08/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/08/2008 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Valerie Frankel

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Thin may be the new happy, but it's also a great big can of worms. In her first memoir, novelist Frankel digs into a lifelong struggle with her body. It began with her fat-phobic mother (who, the author says, criticized her weight from the impressionable age of 11) and affected every area of her existence—sex, marriage and, she fears, her young daughters. Funny and brutally frank ("the smaller my pants, the bigger the number of men that got into them"), she depicts a life defined by the scale—until she embarks on the "Not-Diet": eating what she wants (in moderation), exercising and silencing her inner critic. A satiating account of the long road to self-acceptance.

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