The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg, paperback by Serpent’s Tail, £11.99 (ebook £3.79).

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YOU can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family – and that’s something those close to Edie Middlestein know all too well.

Slowly eating herself to death, thanks in part to a misguided notion that food equals love, Edie finds herself abandoned by her husband.

For her grown-up children Robin and Benny, each with their own neuroses and relationships to contend with, her health becomes – if you excuse the pun – a weighty issue.

We hear from different Middlesteins in turn, from Edie herself to her bratty grandchildren, preparing for their b’nai mitzvah, and her overbearing daughter-in-law.

There are also the trials and tribulations of her husband Richard, entering the minefield that is the dating world after years away from its frontline.

At its heart, The Middlesteins is a book about love, putting the ties that bind people together under the microscope.

It is at times a painful one, but only for the truths it presents about something we all have – our families.

Lauren Turner