Thursday, March 22, 2018

What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges

Published in 1991, What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges is the book that one of my favorite movies is based on.

In some ways, I liked the movie better, but in other ways I liked the book better. Although there are differences, the movie kept the same feeling as the book.

The movie ignored the problem with sexual abuse that takes place in the book. It is not okay to have sex with a 15 or 16 year-old girl. Gilbert Grape was definitely  groomed to be a sexual partner of an adult woman before he was an adult. I liked that the movie didn't constantly use the R word like the book does.

In the small town of Endora, Gilbert sees no future for himself or his family. He is stuck as a caretaker for his little brother who has severe cognitive differences, his sisters who live in the house, and his mother who was once the town sweetheart but is now obese and needs constant care.

He is a clerk in a grocery store, and the hopelessness he feels permeated the entire story. This story will make you laugh and cry. I wanted Gilbert to win, to make right choices, and for the family to find happiness again. If you liked the movie you will like the book and if you liked the book, you will probably like the movie. The movie was well cast and well acted.

Link to our NICU book registry if you'd like to donate books to babies in the newborn intensive care unit so their parents can read to them while they grow. You can also donate gently used books to our project by sending them to me or to Angie. Email me for a mailing address. We can use both English and Spanish books. If you have a graduate of the NICU, or if you have a baby whose life you would like to honor by donating books to this project, let me know, and I can make a book plate with their name for the books you donate.

Another way to help our project is to purchase books from this Usborne link as we are currently using the hostess benefits to help buy books for the babies. You buy books that are delivered to your house for your children or grandchildren - or as baby shower gifts, and the hostess rewards help us get books for our NICU babies - a win win for all. 

Read to a child today even if that child is you. 

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