I really enjoyed the in-depth view into anorexia. Although the storyline flows into the lives of the characters and melds flawlessly into the other sub-plots, there is still a level of understanding about this eating disorder, which is quite remarkable.
The kind of depth you usually only get when you read a book written specifically about eating disorders.
Kate Long really does have Helen’s character down to a tee. Anorexics are often described in a way that defines them as victims, as attention seeking individuals, who could stop being anorexic if they wanted to.
Those descriptions could not be more wrong. It is a mental illness, a feeding and eating disorder. Girls, boys men or women, who suffer with it need professional medical and psychological help.
Getting back to the way Long has portrayed Helen. She has pinpointed the manipulative, cunning and deceptive nature of her personality. Anorexics learn to lie, deceive, cheat and manipulate their surroundings and the people around them. Feeding and Eating disorders are about control.
Controlling the one thing no one else can control for you or take away from you. The way you eat, how much you eat or if you eat at all. It takes an incredible amount of inner discipline to control your eating habits that way.Helen describes the anorexia as an entity, a person, someone who lives within her and tells her how useless, fat and ugly she is. Alive to the point of having inner dialogues with her or it. Like an inner demon sitting on your shoulder.
Long also describes the way the anorexia can make and break a family. Everything evolves around the eating disorder, which means everyone suffers, not just the anorexic. In this story we follow the healthy sister Jen on her quest for love and her constant juggle of work-life balance. Even now her sister has recovered there is always this doubt about her honesty. Is she in distress, is she getting skinnier again or is she eating her food?
When Helen asks Jen to find one of the people partly responsible for the initial meltdown, she finds herself in the middle of a moral dilemma. Help her and perhaps watch Helen spiral into her anorexia again or trust that Helen will leave the past alone.
This isn’t just a story about family dynamics when one of the family members suffers from an eating disorders, it is also a story about the relationship between two sisters and how romance can sneak up on you in the strangest situations.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the author.