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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book!
A darkly comic look at the tragic world of eating disorders. Books on this subject often tend to lean towards melodrama, but Oakes-Ash writes in a less serious, lighter way, thst helps to make the words more accesible to the reader. Any woman who reads this, whether they have an eating disorder or not, will certaintly recognize aspects of their own personality in...
Published on 5 Dec 2004 by Ella

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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A terrible read which puts a mockery on the anorexic hell
I couldnt bare to finish reading this biography detailing the author's so called experience with anorexia. Her descriptions of how image and always having to look good for men and how this contributed to her eating disorder, makes a mockery of the average anorexic experience. Too many people think anorexics are just silly girls wanting to diet to look good and have a...
Published on 19 Feb 2003 by lucy1981


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Book!, 5 Dec 2004
By 
Ella (London, Europe) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
A darkly comic look at the tragic world of eating disorders. Books on this subject often tend to lean towards melodrama, but Oakes-Ash writes in a less serious, lighter way, thst helps to make the words more accesible to the reader. Any woman who reads this, whether they have an eating disorder or not, will certaintly recognize aspects of their own personality in Rachael's story. The fact that Oakes suffered anorexia, bulimia and copulsive overeating means that the story fundementally covers all basis on the eating disorder spectrum, and provides a range of varied perspectives.
The most impressive aspect of the book is the sheer frankness of the author's writing. She is refreshingly honest, telling her story in graphic detail whilst resisting the urge to 'sugar-coat' her biography in order to make herself look better. It is this openness - this baring of the soul - that makes the reader immediately warm to Rachael, a factor which helps to make her words & her underlying message seem so much more genuine than the usual crop of 'Self-help' books that are dominating the market at the moment.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on!, 9 Mar 2003
By 
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
This book tells it like it really is. Thank god Rachael had the guts to share her story. This is a fantastic book, I have read thousands of self help books on this topic and this is the first that I have related to. As a former bulimic and anorexic Rachael tells most girls stories between the pages of this brilliant book. It has truly changed my life to know I am not the only one who has stolen food or eaten till I was sick. A round of applause to Rachael Oakes-Ash - when's the next book, I can't wait!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a warning to all young girls, 29 April 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
I thought this book was great, I have certainly been prone to some of this behaviour, and had the same thoughts, though thankfully not to the same extremes as Rachel. I actually found it quite a painful read, as I could identify with certain sections, and felt moved to tears.
Anyone who worries about their weight, and diets alot should read this as a warning, and hopefully keep some perspective
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best book about eating disorders ever!, 15 Oct 2002
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
Am I really only allowed 5 stars?
a sufferer of anorexia and bulimia myself, I have read tons of books about the disease, most of them not helpful at all.
They all work the same way - sufferer comes to hospital, sufferer finds friend, friend dies of disease, sufferer recovers.
In the end, these books did not leave me feeling better about myself, more the opposite.
Rachael Oakes-Ash went through it all but did not need someone to die to show her the way out of disordered eating. She is not forced by a doctor to gain weight while every pound is a pain and confirms to me that only ultralight is the right weight.
No, Oakes-Ash is past that stage, she has grown up and out of it. When she realizes that the perfect body does not exist and happiness can never be achieved by weight loss and an ultra-thin figure she gives up dieting for good and grows back into her size 16 - and is proud of it! Especially the last chapter made me, a 14 myself, really feel good about myself!
It made me just wanting to buy this ultraskimpy top and finally show off my curves! Thanks you Rachael! You really did something for my confidence!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Important insights for the Ally MacBeal generation, 3 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
Like a lot of women, Rachael Oakes-Ash has struggled with her weight for her entire life. Finally, in her mid-thirties, she has realised that she is not defined by the numbers on a scale and that food is neither a friend nor an enemy - it's just food. In a time when women are barraged with media images of celebrities who are so thin they barely exist, Rachael's honesty about her appetites is refreshing. The book is slightly over-long and some of the more experimental chapters (such as a her naive letters to God, which seem to continue well into her twenties) don't really work, but ultimately this is an encouraging book which reminds women that the 'lollipop' look (stick body, huge head) isn't natural or enviable.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You WILL find yourself in this book., 10 Mar 2003
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
I read this book in one captivated stretch on a flight from Sydney to Singapore only pausing as an extremely thin air hostess swooped to pick it up. .. much to my amusement\dismay she did not return it for 10 minutes.
This sharp, witty and poignant biography was a genuine eye opener. Rachael presents us with the spiraling basic mockery of self image and perception that is fundamental to every eating disorder... in her words; "The Perfect Body" - She delivers her excellent story in parallel to the speed at which we are bombarded by the media everyday to what we should aspire to look like.
My experiences of eating disorders are personally limited - from a very distant cousin who died of a heart attack after spending several years as a recovered bulimic to a college flat mate who spent her entire last 2 years in college hating herself and dieting, I did however find myself relating to situations in this book on countless occasions exposing to me the sneaky nature of any eating disorder. In my opinion this book works extremely well to expose the unnatural perception of what way too many of us aspire to be (Perfect Body) and need to recognize as a fallacy. The best part of the book is of course dispelling this myth, which in my opinion is done by Rachael both rationally and wonderfully.
A friend passed this book on to me and I have since read it twice and it will remain permanently on my bookshelf to be used as a reference at anytime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A touching and inspiring read., 5 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
Buying this book was possibly the best thing I ever did. I cried and luaghed the whole way through! Anyone who suffers from an eating disorder will realise they are not alone and how ever bad things may get, there is always hope of recovery. It is not a self- help book but does give excellent advice and the pros/cons of different types of therapy. I can guarantee that every girl who has ever dieted will be able to associate with some of Racheal Oakes- Ash story. Being thin isn't everything!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a sassy & sensitive telling of one woman's path to security, 8 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
i would have thought that every woman reading this will be able to recognize a bit of themselves in this book, it is told with complete irreverence and sensitivity at the same time, it made me laugh a lot, at myself as well as the author's story
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rachael gives us permission to laugh at ourselves!, 8 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
Rachael Oakes-Ash has managed to confront all those body image issues women would rather not confront. She gives us permission to laugh about the seriousness with which we treat measuring our success by the size of our thighs. A great read!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A whirlwind of emotions, 9 April 2006
This review is from: Good Girls Do Swallow: The Darkly Comic True Story of How One Woman Stopped Hating Her Body (Paperback)
Rachel Oakes-Ash repeatedly emphasises in Good Girls Do Swallow that she doesn't do things by halves. Everything is taken to extremes; this book is no exception. This is no gentle introduction to the world of eating disorders - the reader is taken on a rollercoaster journey of up, down, fat, thin, binge, starve, so quickly that it's almost hard to keep track of the cycle. An exhausting book to read, let alone to live.
Oakes-Ash's opinions on society's effect on eating disorders are slipped in neatly; the book isn't over-opinionated, but she offers some very well-written views in it. This is done without disturbing or interrupting the plot, so unintrusively that it would be worth re-reading the book purely to revisit her opinions on the origins of eating disorders, society's contribution to them, & etc.
GGDS is full of dark humour, and is written from a fairly reflective perspective of someone looking back on what she's done. A subtle vein of sarcasm is present throughout the whole book, as Oakes-Ash describes and occasionally mocks her own disordered thinking and behaviour. This would possibly make the book less triggering, were it not for the fact that it just seems so fast-paced that it's easy to be caught up by it. Fast-paced not in the sense that it's a gripping story - it's not - but to read it feels restless, like your thoughts are racing. Not recommended for the emotionally fragile!
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