I'm kind of torn by this book.
On the one hand I admired the amazing vocabulary and the beautiful turns of phrase that Shriver uses. On the other hand, I think that it is her language that kept me at arm's length from this book. I didn't "fall into" it and find it impossible to put down (even though I did want to find out what was going to happen). I was conscious the whole time of being impressed by her writing skills, and of admiring something I didn't really understand (much like I do when I look at famous artworks). Plus it's written in first person narrative - does anyone actually talk like that?
What Shriver does nail is the middle-class woman's anxiety about being the perfect person to all the people in her life. And the inevitable guilt that is felt when she fails to meet her own impossible expectations. Who says feminism is no longer needed?
She is also very perceptive about family relationships and dynamics, and on society's view and treatment of the morbidly obese. It's Shriver so there are no glib messages or answers to all our prayers. Life is messy. Deal with it.