1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 June 2010
This is a fantastic book.
I rarely say that, but this is honestly true. Compelling, bitter, hopeful, sad, mind bending, inspirational.
The story of treatment within a residential unit is honest and manages to be discriptive without being too triggering- many ED sufferers wear out their copies of certain books, as mentioned in Purge- ie, Wasted.
The twists and turns of treatment, recovery and the underlying causes of EDNOS, Bulimia and Anorexia, all are perfectly captured in this novel which doesnt glamorise, condone or condem.
A wonderful book which I would encourage all ED sufferers to read. It may educate. It may inspire. It may remind us that recovery is possible. Those things are all worth paying gold for!
on 4 June 2012
Unusually written, in a wispy, poetic second person at first, the author was pulling women and men without explaining her sexuality, not even on the back cover or in the foreword, which was unexpected. Good for her.
I enjoyed the unusual writing style ... mainly in the present tense, sometimes in the future tense, somehow intimate and superficial, personal and impersonal, simultaneously. I wondered whether Nicole's use of language was intentionally disorientating? And I was conscious most of the time that she has a master's degree in Creative Writing.
This book is largely a series of brief, non-linear snapshots of the author's three months in an eating disorder treatment centre for EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, i.e. not anorexia, nor bulimia, nor compulsive eating). Amongst the entertaining, informative anecdotes: Residents are weighed facing backwards on the scales so that they don't see, and therefore obsess over, any weight gain or loss. And when instructed to line themselves up in order from lightest to heaviest, they all, including the anorexics, move to the 'heaviest' part of the line.
The story is told in imagery as well as in text. As a lover of typography, I found the artistic framework of the book to be a pleasing addition: pen markings, diary scribblings, a collage of therapeutic artwork and medical records and meal plans.
Nicole writes as someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, someone who is in recovery, and someone who will always be in recovery. That I never quite knew her position as the author, told a story in itself.
This was another book whose author's eating disorder seemed so utterly extreme, that I questioned whether I really had an eating disorder myself.
Author of 'Lesbian Crushes and Bulimia: A Diary on How I Acquired my Eating Disorder'
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2010
I have to admit I could not put this book down. It has short chapters, dealing with different aspects of life in treatment for an eating disorder. Its both very funny (if you have a slightly sick sense of humour) and very sad. I don't know how someone who had not had and eating disorder would find it - parts are quite shocking, but if you have it is good. Its good as well because the protagonist is not super-thin, so its not triggering, it highlights how diverse eating disorders are, and how they often link in with other addictions.
on 12 April 2011
From someone who could have been faced with in-patient treatment in a similar facility, and still could (here's hoping not!), this was endlessly interesting and kept me engrossed for long long periods of time.
It is a collection of notes and journals from Nicole's time in treatment, and shows the different styles of treatment and aspects of life during. The disjointed jumps in time can offput a reader sometimes, but I think they characterise the mind of an eating disordered person well. I don't think anything of significance was ever missed out, perhaps just monotonous time periods of routine within the healing process.
For all of those interested in eating disorders, or those with one, or those who know someone with one - this is a great read. Sometimes greatly saddening, but eventually thankfully uplifting. Not everyone in the book makes it - but Nicole did, and has beaten her disorder. A beacon of hope for the rest of us.
At times the book can be distressing and hits hard to those with first hand experience of the diseases, but I think Nicole's talent in writing and realism is what makes this book worth reading, I know I'll read it again.
on 21 September 2013
After suffering from bulimia for the past year and losing between 40 and 50lbs from it, I wanted a book that spoke to me and didn't sugarcoat eating disorders. This book is the book I was looking for. It portrays the inexplicably harsh and often repugnant reality of being a slave to an eating disorder. Not only does it give the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about actively having an eating disorder, it also subsequently matches that honesty when it comes to ED recovery. People don't realize how tough it is to recover from an eating disorder, as the amount of times you succumb to it and relapse is unfairly often, which is why many sufferers never fully recover. And although this book, like I said is entirely honest, it does give people like me a glimmer of hope that things will get a lot better, even if it is a struggle which lasts for years.