At sixteen, Billie Weinstein has plenty of problems: She's the only Jewish girl living in the all-Italian neighborhood of West Berry, NJ; she's trying hard to please her know-it-all father who listens to opera at full volume and drives full speed, and her too-accommodating mother who is either taking care of Billie's father, or Billie and her sister, or the two dogs; and on top of everything else, her older sister Cassie goes off to college, leaving Billie to fend for herself.
And now Billie's studying for the SATs. The task her father has given her is to learn twenty words a day, read the New York Times at least twice a week and watch Masterpiece Theatre whenever he tells her to, mostly because he likes it. Then Billie discovers her sister's secret: Cassie is battling anorexia and Billie's parents excuse Cassie's weight loss as stress due to the competitive atmosphere at college. Billie knows something is drastically wrong with her sister; something that could be fatal.
This novel is touching and funny and moving, and it got great reviews. And Billie Weinstein is so wry and humorous a protagonist, she's the kind of girl every woman wishes she'd had as a best friend growing up.
About Cathi Hanauer
Cathi Hanauer has written for such national publications as McCall's, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen, where she currently writes the monthly advice column, "Relating." She lives in New York City with her husband and baby daughter.
"This is a poignant but also lively and humorous novel, with characters so believable you expect them to rise up off the page."