Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Review: Milk Fed, by Melissa Broder


Milk Fed, by Melissa Broder. Published 2021 by Scribner. Fiction.

I'm a big fan of Melissa Broder and her books tend to be of a type, so if you like one you will like the others. The others are The Pisces, a 2019 novel about a woman who falls in love with a merman, and So Sad Today, her 2016 collection of essays.

Milk Fed is about a young woman living in Los Angeles, Rachel, who is hungry. She is hungry for food; she counts every calorie, obsesses over every bite, every morsel of food. She is hungry for love as well, and for a time she can satisfy both hungers with Miriam, a young woman who works in a frozen yogurt shop. Rachel becomes passionately attached to Miriam who is both very religious and possibly very straight. Or maybe not. But anyway things don't really go well here.

Milk Fed is a lot messier than The Pisces, emotionally and viscerally messy in a way that might be a little much for some readers. Rachel is not totally likeable in the sense of being virtuous but I do think she is very real and relatable if exaggerated maybe. She projects her own desires onto Miriam the zaftig gourmand, but she is expelled from her paradise eventually and must deal with her own issues sooner or later.

I loved this book like I do all of Broder's books, for that mess, that realness, that raw portrayal of female passion. The book has a lot of graphic sexual content that may not be for all readers.  I read this a while back, not long after it came out, during the period of time when I wasn't blogging and it was one of the books that made me want to return so I could talk to you about it. (I got a galley somewhere, maybe at work.) I recommend it to readers of Lisa Taddeo, Kristin Arnett, Ottessa Moshfegh and Alissa Nutting especially. Worth a look if you're up for something different.

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive this book for review.

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