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The Passion of Alice

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  490 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
"In Latin, suffering and passion come from the same root," observes Alice Forrester, the wry heroine of this poignant and sardonically witty debut. And who would know better than twenty-five-year-old Alice, passionately committed to her own suffering--an all-consuming addiction to food deprivation--as a divine form of self-knowledge?

After an episode of heart failure, Alice
Paperback, 272 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Bantam (first published September 12th 1995)
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Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, lgbt, disability
Narrative of anorexia, hospitalization, sexuality, and love. The smartest thing about this book is the way it repossesses anorexia from popular conception, transforming it from an external "you are sick because you are a woman and you want us to see you thinner" into a deeply internal experience of control, which is far closer to the truth when you're talking about five foot eight women who are ninety pounds and who are dying and who will not eat. Unfortunately, the last quarter of the book fall ...more
Jul 05, 2010 rated it liked it
In her 1995 novel of self-acceptance, The Passion of Alice, Stephanie Grant paints a picture of a young woman stuck-not able to move forward with her life, and slowly fading away to nothingness. Alice is a 25 year old librarian who is hospitalized at the eating disorders clinic at the well-known Seaview Hospital after a heart attack caused by her extreme thinness. At 89 pounds and 5'10" tall, Alice feels that she is starving herself down to her very essence, shedding everything not about her tha ...more
Paige White
This book starts as a book about anorexia and ends really weird.
belva hullp
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant

This could be an important little book if you or a loved one suffers from an eating disorder. The protagonist, Alice, a 25 year old suffers from anorexia which her separated parents do not realize. They know but can't admit it until one day she suffers a heart attack. Then along with her doctors, they & she agree that she needs acute care and she goes into a rehab facility that works with addicts, alcoholics, persons with all types of disorders. They ar
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very a very unique look into the mind of of Alice, a 25 year old girl admitted to an eating disorder treatment center in a hospital, and her mental health during her stay. I enjoy reading books like this because they seem to reach a part of my heart that stays with me long after I've read them. I will be talking more about this book in my August 2017 wrap-up on my youtube channel!
Aug 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, favorites
a good read. the characters all felt real, i loved their interactions and relationships. i definitely wouldn't recommend this book to someone suffering from an eating disorder, however, as the main character has a lot of damaging ideas about weight, which i guess is obvious from the plot of the book.
Anorexia is, by definition, "an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of body weight." For Alice Forrester, her anorexia is something she lives and breathes constantly. Friends? Why bother? For years, being anorexic has taken up most of her time, occupied the majority of her thoughts, and for the most part, ruled her life.
"I had always liked my anorexic reflection. It meant seeing the parts inside of the whole. E
The plot-outline reminded me of Girl, Interrupted. A young girl with a problem is attmited to a clinic where she meets a girl that is more self-confident, louder, stronger and completely different from her and that she secretly admires. There are some other girls as well, one of them having a tragic ending.

The rest is different though. Alice has to deal with an eating disorder, which is acutally not the focus of the story but rather the frame for it. The main interest lies on the relationship b
Sara Giron
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Alice is very distant, she only cares about being skinny. Throughout the book she always compared and judged other peoples bodies. Alice has Anorexia disorder and has gotten a heart attack. Her life had many troubles, she has faced drugs and a couple loves in this book. I think what impacted Alice when she was at Seaview Hospital was Maeve. For example they went to a bar with Maeve did cocaine and when they went to the mall Alice stole to give Maeve something. Then when Maeve decided to leave Al ...more
Melissa Lee-Tammeus
This book closely resembles "Girl, Interrupted" for its brutal look at girls in an institution. This time is is for those suffering from eating disorders. Alice is the main character and you read from her point of view what anorexia truly looks like from the inside out. If you are aware of this disorder and its nuances, there are no surprises here however, it is still a wonderful reminder in the fact that this disease is multifaceted and very difficult to treat. The numerous underlying meanings ...more
Aug 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
This story is about a young woman's experience with anorexia. In the facility that she shares with women who have all sorts of food disorders, the characters seem to personify their addictions. Alice, with her anorexia, is addicted to control and self-sacrifice, making her character seem calculated, restricted, and empty. On the other hand, some of Alice's cohorts have much more entertaining was of expressing their neurosis; Mauve, for example, is an overweight woman addicted to excess whose unp ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The characters in this book really lingered with me... it's an intelligent, passionate, and harrowingly sad meditation on adulthood, adolescence, death, sexuality, therapy, loneliness, and pretty much anything else you can think of on the emotional spectrum. It was hard to not read it all in one go, I had to pace myself to make it last.

Also: I would not classify this as young adult fiction. But that's not to say that teenagers shouldn't read it, especially teenagers struggling with eating issue
Jan 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
This was interesting because it is set in an area that I know, using correct names of nearby towns, route numbers, and malls, but the story and the hospital are fiction. I enjoyed it although I wish the ending had been more definitive and concrete. That being said it was a much more realistic picture of anorexia and eating disorders back in this time period as compared to Steven Levenkron's books.
Hazel McHaffie
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it
Alice is seriously anorexic. Her condition leads to a heart attack and thence to a specialist centre where she meets many other patients struggling with eating disorders. But Alice has many personal issues to resolve (relating to her size,her sexuality, family relationships, her first boyfriend, authority) and along the way she gets into a range of difficult situations which highlight the endless journey she faces. Readable but not riveting.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it liked it
I didn't like this book much at first, mainly because I felt I was one of the fat people whom the author found so disgusting. Since she's an anorexic, she has a pretty broad definition of fat. But it got much interesting once she meets Maeve, a bulimic, and she becomes a lot more sympathetic. Didn't like the ambiguous ending.
Jun 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Worse than some, better than most. Why are the protagonists in these things always the same person? I loved the Ronald Tillman character, and Louise, and even Maeve, although she's not the kind of person I gravitate to in real life. In real life, she'd be too wild and edgy for my carefully boring life. But on paper, she's fun to follow, and to contemplate.
May 09, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was unimpressed by this book. I wouldn't recommend, and I found the book pretty unrelatable. As a tall, at times very thin girl, you would think I could, but nope. There are better books out there.
Although there were times that this story seemed a little bit far-fetched, in terms of the oddity of characters that Alice encounters in the hospital, it still offers some unique and appropriate insights into the process of recovering from an eating disorder.
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
OMG I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. It's a quick read, and shows the struggles of a young illiterate woman who birthed two of her father's children on her way to making something of herself. Hidden Jem, completely worth reading
Ashlie Fields
Mar 16, 2010 is currently reading it
I am reading this book because I have read other books from Stephanie Grant and I like her style. The cover was also enticing enough to draw my attention in and made me want to read the short summary about it. I have a feeling this book will be very interesting.
Nikki Settelmeyer
Apr 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Hey, if it's got eating disorders or addiction, I'm in. Of all the eating disorder books I've read though, I like this one because it doesn't exploit being skinny or the huge ego trip a person gets on in starvation mode. This was super real, neurotic, a goodie.
Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Venessa, Emily
Shelves: fiction
A Wow. A really great book. A young anorexic woman is hospitalized, and seems to have no care for anything at all - until she meets Maeve, the dominant overweight bulimic. This book deals with love, fear, self, eating disorders, and questions purposes of living. Really excellent.
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well written story centering on women with eating disorders. Interesting tie-ins to Catholicism. Fascinating characters. Disappointing ending.
Oct 04, 2007 rated it did not like it
contemp fiction:1980's psychiatric hospital-----------anorexic discovers herself in hospital
Baxter Trautman
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: lesbian
Grant offers a compelling portrait of bulemia, anorexia, and other eating/body image disorders in this brittle yet meaty novel of selves lost and found.
Nov 16, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I went to the library but found nothing I was looking for, this book happened to be on a shelf where I was looking, it sounded interesting, so I picked it up--we'll see how it goes!
Lisa Ziccardi
Jan 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Eh, this book is basically a ripoff of Girl Interrupted except the author replaced the crazy people with people withe eating disorders. Overall this book was readable and an easy read.
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: eating-disorder
I loved this book. I read it a few years ago.
May 16, 2011 rated it liked it
A seemingly real, revealing and insightful piece of fiction depicting young women at an inpatient program for eating disorders. I liked it.
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Stephanie Grant’s first novel, The Passion of Alice, was published in 1995 by Houghton Mifflin, and was nominated for Britain’s Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction and the Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Fiction. Map of Ireland, which was published by Scribner in March 2008, is a contemporary retelling of Huck Finn that places female sexuality and friendship at the center of one of our foundational m ...more
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“I was used to being perceived as having a good attitude. Self-control, self-effacement, self-denial. People like this, especially in girls.” 4 likes
“Listen for what you identify with, not for what makes you different.” 3 likes
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