eARC Review: Women Under Scrutiny: An Anthology – Randy Susan Meyers, Nancy MacDonald

I was kindly provided with an early copy of this book via e-Arc, thanks to NetGalley. This does not influence my opinions. 

The Goodreads synopsis: 

“When I was a child, my mother hid everything sweet and delicious in the large soup pot she kept on top of the tallest cabinet in the kitchen. Thus, my sister and I, at the tender ages of perhaps five and eight, learned to be mountain climbers. Only recently did I consider that maybe Mom was hiding the cookies from herself as well as us.”

Women Under Scrutiny is an honest, intimate examination of the relationships we have with our bodies, hair, and faces, how we’ve been treated by the world based on our appearance—and how we have treated others. The women who created the serious, humorous, and courageous work in this anthology—women ages seventeen to seventy-six—represent an array of cultures and religions from across the United States. They are an extraordinary group of women who all share one thing: the ability to tell the truth.

Women Under Scrutiny grew out of Randy Susan Meyers’ new novel, Waisted, the story of two women who torture themselves and are brutalized by others around weight issues, who get caught in the war against women, disguised as a war against fat.

“Meyers exquisitely explores body image, family, and marriage in this surprisingly deep novel. . . she dips into major issues of race, culture, obsession, and sisterhood. Taking on the timely topic of how a woman is perceived in today’s society, she twists it into how far women will go to be what society deems right, and at what cost—a marriage, a family obligation, a personal goal?”
—Booklist (about Waisted: A Novel)

Randy Susan Meyers is a Brooklyn-Boston mix who believes that happiness requires family, friends, books, and an occasional New York bagel. Two of Meyers’ previous novels were chosen as “Must Read Books” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, writing, “The clear and distinctive voice of Randy Susan Meyers will have you enraptured and wanting more.” She lives in Boston with her husband and teaches at Grub Street Writer’s Center.

All profits from Women Under Scrutiny will be donated to Rosie’s Place in Boston.


What I liked about this book: Powerful, raw, unmediated and I believe that each of the women that participated in the writing of this book experienced something powerful not only as a cause for the writing but while also creating their art.

Of course, the book touches on sensitive topics but it is absolutely amazing and more people should be reading it.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

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