rating: 3 of 5 stars
This is a rather brutal book about the author's many years of bulimia and anorexia. She doesn't spare any details about the self-destructive behavior and it's consequences. It's a difficult read partly because it's easy to see yourself and most women in her thought processes about eating, weight, and self-worth. I don't really know any women who don't think that way to some extent, which is horrifying. It's, of course, also hard to follow her excrutiatingly detailed and horribly prolonged efforts to kill herself through starvation and malnourishment.
The thing I didn't like was that that was all we got. The book ended before her final hospitalization, so we didn't follow her through her more lasting recovery (we did get some of the initial hospitalizations). We don't get to hear what ultimately helped her to pull out of the mess she was in. It's like when your girlfriend spends weeks detailing the trouble she's having with her partner and you're all enraged on her behalf, then the two of them make it up and you don't hear another word. You're left with all these feelings and worries, and they are blissfully happy, but aren't sharing their secrets with you anymore.
Hornbacher's been accused of writing book that provides all sorts of "tips" for aspiring anoretics. It seems like that impression would have been blunted if she'd just let us in a little on her recovery.
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