Book Recommendation: ‘The Thick and the Lean’ by Chana Porter

Recommended by GRACE JOHNSON, Peninsula Pulse staffer and bibliophile

Although this book won’t be released until April, I need more people to put it on their radar. This is Porter’s second novel and one that fans of speculative fiction and sci-fi shouldn’t miss.

Beatrice Bolano lives in a community where abstaining from food brings one closer to God, and the community goes so far as to regulate what its citizens consume. But Beatrice secretly wants to be a chef. 

Reiko Rimando receives a tech scholarship and leaves her former life behind for one in the big city. When her funding is pulled, she looks outside the law to forge ahead. The two, using an old cookbook written by a kitchen maid, attempt to break free from a society that wants to constrain them.

Everything that Porter writes is both disgusting and beautiful. This book is lovely, sad, real and raw in so many ways. It deals with some heavy themes, so I would put a trigger warning for eating disorders on it at minimum, but check out others before getting into it.

If you want to see what Porter’s writing is like, check out their first book, The Seep, which is another speculative-fiction book that delves into what it means to be human.