Milk Fed

Melissa Broder

fiction contemporary lgbtqia+
emotional reflective fast-paced

7 hours, 30 minutes | first published 2021

"Milk Fed is a novel of appetites; a luscious, heartbreaking story of self-discovery through the relentless pursuit of desire. I couldn't get enough of this devastating and extremely sexy book." --Carmen Maria Machado, author of In the Dream House A scathingly funny, wildly erotic, and fiercely imaginative story about food, sex, and god from the acclaimed author of The Pisces and So Sad Today.Rachel is twenty-four, a lapsed Jew who has made calorie restriction her religion. By day, she maintains an illusion of existential control, by way of obsessive food rituals, while working as an underling at a Los Angeles talent management agency. At night, she pedals nowhere on the elliptical machine. Rachel is content to carry on subsisting--until her therapist encourages her to take a ninety-day communication detox from her mother, who raised her in the tradition of calorie counting. Early in the detox, Rachel meets Miriam, a zaftig young Orthodox Jewish woman who works at her favorite frozen yogurt shop and is intent upon feeding her. Rachel is suddenly and powerfully entranced by Miriam--by her sundaes and her body, her faith and her family--and as the two grow closer, Rachel embarks on a journey marked by mirrors, mysticism, mothers, milk, and honey. Pairing superlative emotional insight with unabashed vivid fantasy, Broder tells a tale of appetites: physical hunger, sexual desire, spiritual longing, and the ways that we as humans can compartmentalize these so often interdependent instincts. Milk Fed is a tender and riotously funny meditation on love, certitude, and the question of what we are all being fed, from one of our major writers on the psyche--both sacred and profane.

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summary of 286 ratings (see reviews)

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emotional 61%
funny 59%
dark 49%
reflective 48%
challenging 32%
sad 25%
tense 16%
hopeful 15%
lighthearted 9%
inspiring 4%
adventurous 2%
informative 2%
mysterious 0%
relaxing 0%


fast 60%
medium 34%
slow 5%

Plot- or character-driven?

Character: 90% | A mix: 9% | Plot: 0%

Strong character development?

Yes: 73% | It's complicated: 19% | No: 6%

Loveable characters?

It's complicated: 45% | Yes: 35% | No: 19%

Diverse cast of characters?

No: 41% | Yes: 36% | It's complicated: 20% | N/A: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 98% | It's complicated: 0% | No: 0%

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