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Remembering Judith

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  330 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Tells a tale of a child growing up with an anorexic mother.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 16th 2009 by Cheever Publishing (first published January 1st 2005)
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Jan 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
At times this was an extremely difficult book to read....written by Ruth, the daughter of parents, who as children had each escaped death as German Jews just before the start of the war that would have in all liklihood seen them in concentration camps or worse. Her parents met in a boardinghouse in Britian and were married.
In the era of the 50's and 60's the disease of anorexia nervosa was virtually unheard of but Ruth spends her childhood and teenage years dealing with this very condition as it
Remembering Judith by Ruth Joseph is the excruciating history of the author's relationship with her mother, a woman who escaped the Nazi's as a child but lost her entire family as well as her homeland. Judith becomes a beautiful, accomplished woman-and an anorexic at a time when virtually nothing was known about it, even, for most doctors, its name. Ruth grows up to become by 13 the caretaker for a very ill mother she cannot (even now) be angry at. Her father is a harsh, withholding, abusive man ...more
Nov 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book was very hard to read. I applaud Ruth for her courage to share very deep, painful experiences. Unless a person has ever experienced the level of mental & emotion abuse or have had a close relationship with a person struggling with an eating disorder...they may not understand the importance of this story.
Heather Hartsel
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

To read this was a challenge, the author drops the curtains from her hidden hell and bares her soul to the world.
J. A.  Lewis
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I applaud Ms. Joseph for writing this Memoir about the traumas of living with an Anorexic mother and mentally abusive father. I was horrified that no one helped this poor girl during her young and informative years. The constant neglect from both of her parents is really hard to read and I grew angry myself that these two people were allowed to inflict their issues on their helpless child. The lack of even buying basic necessities for their daughter as she outgrew her clothing was more than appa ...more
May 11, 2013 rated it liked it
This is a sad story but an important message. Ruth Joseph is very brave. It must have hurt her a great deal to write about her experiences publicly but I bet her doing so will help someone, somewhere. It is unbelievable how cruel Ruth's own father was to her, and her mother's anorexia turned her (Judith) into an almost unrecognizable creature. The Jewish culture kept Ruth bound by duty to her father for much longer than any person should have to endure such terrible treatment. I can't say I enjo ...more
Dec 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A harrowing true story of a girl growing up in Cardiff in the 50s and 60s with an anorexic/bulimic mother and a cold, withholding father. No one really knew anything about anorexia back then so the mother really wasn't treated, except for occasional hospital visits when she was too weak to stay at home. She had a few helpful sessions with a psychiatrist, but her husband was jealous of the doctor and made her discontinue the treatment. The author understands that she isn't getting what she needs ...more
Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-of-2013
I'm sure this wasn't an easy book for the author to write, and I want to be somewhat sensitive to that. I think she did a good job of describing what it's like living with and caring for someone with anorexia nervosa, and in the process also conveyed a great deal about the culture within which she was raised--one radically different from what most of us have experienced. Still, for as much sympathy as I had for her, there were times when I wanted to shake the young adult version of her. (view sp ...more
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it
I didn't realize anorexia was such a long, slow process. And I guess I never thought about what a truly disgusting disease it is. But there was so much more going on in the household. I almost didn't know what was worse, living with her mother's illness or the way Ruth's parents treated her. Maybe if it happened now, at least there would have been some hope on some level for Judith. But proper treatment and understanding and therapy just wasn't there for her. As for Ruth, the fact that she made ...more
Aug 25, 2013 rated it liked it
The story was fascinating but Ruth Joseph could have been much more concise. I felt like I spent more time reading the same thing over and over towards the end, even though there were a few new developments.

Being a child of narcissist parents is difficult, so is having parents who are chronically ill. Joseph tells her story with compassion and insight, though I would have liked more details about her parents' and grandparents' history and their lives apart from eating/not eating and working/not
Oct 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Maybe I missed the point to this book, but I was hoping that the story would be more about Judith and her anorexia than about Ruth and her childhood.

With that said, I feel sorry for Ruth and the way she was treated as a child and young adult. Her mother and father seemed like extremely selfish people and didn't really care about her or her feelings. I'm glad that Ruth finally found the strength and courage to stand up to her parents and move in with her life.
Hazel McHaffie
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
A more unusual book about anorexia in that the 'patient' is the author's mother. Roles are reversed and dutiful Jewish daughter Ruth becomes principal caregiver to her difficult mother. Food plays a large part in their lives and this true story shows how it was used by different members of the family at different times to control and manipulate. Interesting insights into Jewish life as well.
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
So sad for Ruth and her poor Mom. With anorexia being well known and treated these days Ruth's Mom may have had a chance if it was recognized and treated in the 50s like it is today. God bless you Ruth , it took a lot of courage to write your story and a lot of love and patience to take such awesome care of your dear Mom. Thank you for sharing you and your Mom's story..
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
I don't know what to say about this book because it is not a great piece of literature by any means. It isn't even as much about Judith as it is Ruth her daughter. I thought I would learn more about Judith as the title would suggest. Even so, it was interesting and heartbreaking at the same time and with that said I would recommend it.
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was hard to read and I'm sure, even harder to write but the author does an excellent job of describing the challenge of growing up in the 50s/60s with an anorexic mother in a time before we really knew anything about the disease.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a heart-wrenching and inspiring tale. I had a friend once that was bulimic and never understood the mindset that went with the illness. I can only imagine how it felt to live with a parent fighting the disease.
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My heart goes out to Ruth Joseph for being able to write this book. The emotions and heartaches that surround anorexia are brought out strongly in this book and I admire her for telling her story. Awesome!
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wow. What a horrifying story. I'd be curious to hear a discussion about it from the perspective of people with eating disorders.
Sep 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read

this is a good book. I couldn't wait to turn the page. I even imagined myself as her. It was that well written.
Cyndi Longest
Nov 03, 2012 rated it liked it
An unusual tale of anorexia that will make you question our off hand comments about our own bodies. Heartbreakingly beautiful and sad in equal parts.
Peggy Dyer
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. A heartbreaking story that will stay with me for a long time. Beautifully written.
Leigh Ann
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful Story

Amazing story of love, hurt and despair for anyone to live through. Must read for anyone who has anorexic or knows someone with it.
Diane Crouch
rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2013
rated it it was ok
Jun 21, 2009
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Oct 29, 2014
Claire Wheeler
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May 24, 2016
Angie Cooke
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Jan 12, 2015
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Oct 30, 2012
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Oct 18, 2015
Joyce Vance
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Jan 17, 2016
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