JELL-O Girls: A Family History by Allie Rowbottom

Author Allie Rowbottom, a fourth generation heiress to the Jell-O fortune, contends that her family is under a curse related to the time-honored gelatin dessert. This curse manifests itself in various ways, from squabbles over money to alcoholism, mental illness, incest, and even cancer. Drawing upon her mother’s voluminous but unpublished memoirs, Rowbottom pieces together the evidence for such a curse, ultimately attributing it to the patriarchal system her family’s signature product represents. Jell-O Girls is a compelling look at the corrupting influence of family wealth and the price of women’s culturally-induced silence about things that matter. Recommended.

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(Reviewed by Amy B.)