Jennifer Reese
April 20, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If I Am Missing or Dead

Current Status
In Season
Janine Latus
Nonfiction, Memoir

We gave it a B+

Janine Latus and her kid sister, Amy, grew up with a creepy dad who sexualized and demeaned them. Latus devotes the bulk of her grimly powerful memoir, If I Am Missing or Dead, to her obsession with staying slim, and her marriage to a pathologically jealous doctor who pushed her into getting breast implants, insisted that she wear sleazy clothing, then lashed out when she talked to another man. Superficially, she had little in common with Amy, a compulsive eater who ballooned to 250 pounds. But when Amy hooks up with an alcoholic rodeo cowboy, an affair that emerges near the book’s chilling finale, their deeper kinship becomes tragically apparent.

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