When Pandora Halfdanarson’s brother comes to visit, she is shocked: He’s put on more than 200 pounds. Edison’s stay means Pandora’s home is no longer the same — he eats everything in the kitchen, he breaks furniture, even his laundry takes up more room than she expected. Pandora’s children vary between contempt and compassion; her husband is outright appalled. Only Pandora seems to realize Edison has a bigger problem than weight and she wants to help him. But when her husband gives her an ultimatum — either he goes or Edison — Pandora must decide which is worse: the destruction of her family, or the destruction of her brother as he eats himself to death.
Lionel Shriver, never one to shy from uncomfortable topics, handles obesity, image and the sibling bond confidently and elegantly in her latest novel.