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Jell-O Has Delighted Many American Households. But For One Family, It Was A Curse

The colorful, molded gelatin dessert was anything but a wonderland for the women of Allie Rowbottom's family.
"Jell-O Girls," by Allie Rowbottom. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Jell-O was a staple of American households for decades and made a fortune for author Allie Rowbottom‘s family. But her family was also haunted by alcoholism, suicide and cancer.

Rowbottom (@allierowbottom) writes about that duality in “Jell-O Girls: A Family History,” and joins Here & Now‘s Robin Young to talk about her memoir.

Book Excerpt: ‘Jell-O Girls’

by Allie Rowbottom

In the early 1960s, Jell-O’s age-old selling point as a national beacon of stability, a staple of nuclear-family dinner tables and affordable “fancy” dishes, flickered and surged dramatically. This wasn’t success: this was the gasp of a flame preparing to die out. The country was in flux, teetering on

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