Amazon ** Barnes&Noble
Title: What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Author: Peter Hedges
Published: Simon & Schuster
Gilbert is a 24 year old man stuck in the dwindling town of Endora, Iowa with his two sisters, a mentally disabled brother Arnie, and a mother under the strain of her large weight. Arnie who was said to die young has survived long enough for his 18th birthday which is soon to come keeping the family busy. Being at a cross-roads with himself Gilbert begins to feel the strain of living with his family. Being the only provider for his family as well as being a constant guardian to his brother has taken it's toll on Gilbert. His mother being no help has not even left the house in years after his father's suicide putting an even larger strain on the whole family. Then one day a beautiful young teenaged female comes to town catching Gilbert's heart. The time spent with her has slowly began to change how Gilbert sees the world as well as himself.
Thoughts: Though I love the movie the book didn't catch my heart as well as the movie does. They are largely different so don't go watching the movie expecting it to be the same because they aren't. Now I did have a problem with this book, Gilbert's character seemed EXTREMELY cold towards his family and I didn't much like the fact that he referred to his mentally disabled brother as "the retard". The book though does have a good message and is heartbreaking at times. I however did like like the romance in the book even though at times it seemed a bit inappropriate considering the difference in age between the two. If you enjoy the movie I would ask that you try the book because it helps you better to understand the characters.