Bed is the story of two brothers growing up in England. The oldest brother, Malcolm, takes to his bed at the age of 25 and allows himself to grow to morbidly obese proportions from being overfed by their mother. The youngest brother tells the story. It is hard not to focus on the oldest brother's decision. But Bed is really a story of what love means.
Late in the novel, Mal tells his brother that love is a continuum with a romantic giving end and an opposite end of destruction. The youngest brother is deeply in love with a woman, Lou, who can only think of Mal. She sees how her father is being destroyed by her mother's lack of love. Lou can't see how the youngest brother can help her. The younger brother watches his family decline until he is finally able to escape to America with Lou. They leave as friends but soon become much closer.
After many years, he returns to find that his brother has grown so large, 1300+ pounds, that his skin has become enmeshed with the linen of the mattress. Mal's body has become part bed and the bed a part of his body. He finds his mother happy to have someone to take care of and his father engaged in working on a contraption that will allow Mal to leave the house.
This book is dark and filled with depression although not in itself depressing. You will keep reading to find out if this growing horror of a situation will resolve itself. This book will make you think long after it is finished. What is love? And what does it mean to sacrifice?