Good in Bed Study Guide

Good in Bed

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner

Good in Bed is a novel about journalist Cannie Shapiro, who has spent most of her life feeling self-conscious about her weight. Although she is intelligent, funny, and successful, Cannie still feels defined by her size, and after breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, feels even worse; however, when she discovers she is pregnant, everything changes. This sarcastic yet moving novel explores themes of self-image, feminism, and coming to terms with one's flaws.

Candace (Cannie) Shapiro is a smart, sarcastic, and successful entertainment journalist living in Philadelphia. Although she has a small group of close friends, including her best friend Samantha, overbearing but caring mother, and her rat terrier, Nifkin, she has a day to day struggle with her weight, a recent breakup with her a boyfriend of three years, and the relationship issues left on her when her father left her as a child.

One day, she reads a magazine article written by her ex-boyfriend, Bruce, telling his opinions on "loving a larger woman," simply naming the woman as "C." Outraged and humiliated, Cannie approaches Bruce hoping to get some answers, but only makes things worse when she loses her temper and causes him to say it's over between them for good.

However, a few weeks later when Cannie learns that Bruce's father had died, she attends the funeral to give her condolences and maybe make things better between her and Bruce. Things don't go exactly as planned, but Cannie and Bruce end up having sex. Cannie thinks this may be the start of them getting back together, but is hurt when Bruce says they should no longer see each other, as he is seeing someone else.

Trying to forget about Bruce, Cannie decides to fix up her life a little bit by attending a weight-loss program, making her job a little more pleasurable, and tring to get the screenplay she wrote into the hands of a Hollywood producer. While in New York for an interview with celebrity Maxi Rider, she becomes close friends with Maxi. Cannie decides to give her the screenplay.

Later at her weight-loss program, Cannie meets with the program's doctor, Dr. K, to discuss her role in the program. Dr. K, however, breaks the news to her that she is not allowed to participate in the program. Cannie is crushed at first, until Dr. K tells her she is not allowed to participate because she is pregnant.

Cannie considers the news and realizes Bruce had gotten her pregnant the day of his father's funeral. She debates abortion and whether she should tell Bruce or not. She ultimately decides to keep the baby and writes a note to Bruce telling him she was pregnant and if he wants a part in his child's life, they should talk. Bruce never responds to the letter and Cannie decides she will raise her child as a single mother.

A few months go by and Cannie, knowing she's going to be a mother and having fallen in love with her baby, is a little happier with her life. She is on good terms with all her friends including Maxi, her mother, even Dr. K (whom she now knows as Peter), who are all supportive of her choice to be a single mom. Things get even better when Maxi tells Cannie she read her screenplay and some producers in Hollywood want to produce it, but she must fly to Hollywood and help with the movie. Cannie agrees and packs her bags for Hollywood.

In Hollywood, Cannie is living the dream staying with Maxi in her L.A. house, attending exclusive parties, and even talking to her celebrity crush. She even considers moving from Philadelphia, but decides against the idea. After a few weeks in California, Cannie returns home.

After getting off her flight, Cannie walks through the airport and spots Bruce and whom she assumes is Bruce's new girlfriend. She briefly talks to Bruce and is rude to his girlfriend. After walking away, she goes to the bathroom but is followed by Bruce's girlfriend. They get into a bit of an argument and Cannie slips on some water and falls, hitting her pregnant belly on the side of the sink.

Cannie wakes up in the hospital confused, until her friends tell her that she'll be fine, but will never be able to have children again, due to her injury requiring her to have a hysterectomy. Her new daughter, Joy, was born prematurely but will be okay as long as she stays in the hospital for a few more weeks.

Cannie soon falls into a deep depression after the incident and slowly pushes her friends and family away. She starts taking long walks through the city and starts eating very little, causing her to lose weight. During one walk through the city, she becomes lost, but finds herself at Peter's office. Peter, aware of her mental state, takes her to his place, lets her shower, and cooks her a warm meal. Cannie realizes how she's been acting, and Peter tells her how much he cares for her.

When Joy is brought home from the hospital, Cannie decides to move into her mother's home but starts becoming more like herself everyday. Peter and Cannie start dating, and Cannie seems at peace with her life again. She eventually moves back into her apartment, and Peter tells her he wants to move in with her. As one last change in her life, Cannie decides to go to the magazine Bruce worked for and introduce herself as "C." She is immediately offered a job as writing the "Loving a Larger Woman" column.

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