Hungry Hell by Kate Chisholm.
A book about anorexia is hardly what I would consider a nice read but due to a friends recommendation I picked up 'Hungry Hell.' My first impression was confirmed a single page in, this is NOT a 'nice' read, but it is a 'good' one. It should be required reading for everyone, not simply those (as the blurb on the back cover suggests); "trying to cope with the nightmare of living with a non-eater" but for everyone because whether you have suffered from it, treated it, witnessed it or barely even heard of it its generally agreed that no-one truly understands it, however, this short and at times brutal book comes closer than most.
Although at heart it is the author's personal experience it is sadly a shared story. Too often anorexia nervosa is attributed to vanity and the sufferers aspiration to be as thin as our catwalk models and I was guilty of the same misconception until I read that even in the seventeenth century, without Vogue, Detox, or changing room mirrors, anorexia was being well documented as a form of 'consumption,' proof that despite that era's preference for curvaceous, even plump women, people were already turning themselves into the skeletal fashion icons of today. Incredibly, given even less consideration than the women, are the male sufferers; one man to every ten women has the same illness.
'Hungry Hell' clearly unveils a highly psychological and also sociological disorder. It is really quite a disturbing book but given the serious content, to approach it in any other manner would be an insult to the 30% of sufferers who die from this disease and the many, many others that never recover.