“Life was a lot less bleak when you were staring straight down the barrel of a burrito.”
Melissa Broder’s MILK FED is a compulsively readable book about food, sex, and Judaism. Though the concept may sound bizarre, MILK FED is an absurdly funny, remarkably clever, and surprisingly emotional read. Trust me, once you get a taste you’ll be hooked!
Rachel is in her early twenties, works at a talent management agency in LA, and obsessively counts calories and restricts the food she eats. Her eating disorder began in her childhood thanks to the cruel training of her mother. But everything changes when Rachel meets Miriam, an Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop. Miriam is everything Rachel is not: she is devout to her Jewish faith; she has a close-knit and loving family; and she is, as the book puts it, “undeniably fat, irrefutably fat.” With Miriam, Rachel embarks on a journey of hunger, feeding, sexuality, and faith.
MILK FED sucked me in from page one and I could not put it down! The writing is superb and richly detailed. The descriptions of food, bodies, and sex are wonderfully explicit and help create an immersive reading experience. Rachel is a fascinating narrator who is deeply damaged in very real and believable ways. Broder does an excellent job depicting Rachel’s internal thoughts, fears, and desires so that we better understand her actions. It must be said that this book is HOT HOT HOT! I loved the exploration of queer, female sexual desire. I fear that some readers may be turned off by the graphic sex and mommy related sexual fantasies, but I think it is central to the story and development of the characters.
MILK FED may not be to everyone’s taste but I devoured it and loved every page! It’s an emotional, darkly funny, and raw depiction of the freedom that comes from liberating our bodily appetites.
** Scribner provided the book for honest review
- Title: Milk Fed
- Author: Melissa Broder
- Published: February 2, 2021 (Scribner)
- Genre: Fiction, Contemporary, LGBT
- Booky Nooky Rating: * * * *