Jell-O Girls: A Family History
The memoir follows three women in Rowbottom's family and investigates the roles of domesticity in the American kitchen over generations. Starting with Midge (Rowbottom's grandmother), then detailing Mary's life (Rowbottom's mother) and finally focusing on Rowbottom herself. The memoir discusses the dessert specifically because Rowbottom's great-great-great-uncle bought the Jell-O patent in 1899 for $450, and because Rowbottom own account of her eating disorder, and her active struggle with only eating foods, like Jell-O, that have a low calorie count.
The book starts with Rowbottom feeding her dying mother Jell-O, the only food her mother could keep down at the time. Rowbottom's mother eventually passed away in 2015 at age 70. Rowbottom was not able to finish the book before her mother's death.
Rowbottom was raised in New England and is now based in Los Angeles.
- Mary Edith Fussell obituary. The New Haven Register, 6 Sep 2015. Retrieved from Legacy.com, 2019-05-13.
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