Oceana2602's Reviews > Thin

Thin by Grace Bowman
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Apr 22, 2011

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bookshelves: 2011, biographies, cooking, english, women-writers
Read on June 11, 2011

I'm probably not the right target group for this book (or rather, I'm too right for it), but I read it anyway.

"Thin" is the account of the authorÄs anorexia and her recovery from anorexia. It wasn't as painful as I thought it would be, it wasn't as triggering as I had been led to believe it would be.

I found it very surprising that Bowman, as she tells it, slithered into anorexia unaware, not knowing what or why this was happening to her, not understanding why she suddenly wasn't able to eat anymore. Is that what it is like for other people? What about that conscious decision you make every day not to eat, what about the influence it has on your life, the way you try to wind your way out of social events in order to not have to eat, to not have to resist the tempation. What about the constant weighing, the "control-clothes", the endless sessions in front of a mirror. What about the self-hate, and the self-disgust? And the incredible high that hunger will give you?

Does that sound like I know what I'm talking about? Yes, maybe I do. Maybe I don't. Maybe I will never fully understand, or maybe I will understand too well for the rest of my life.

Anyway, I expected something completely different, and it's probably a good thing that I didn't get it.

What I did get was the understanding that this sickness is different for everyone. Bowman may be typical in many ways, with her eagerness to please, with her biggest worry about her sickness being the fact that it would worry her parents. But don't let that fool you. Anorexia is a tricky beast, and not everyone goes through it as easily as Bowman seemingly did. And I want in no way deny her obvious illness and suffering by saying that. It's just so...typical. Teenager, eager to play by the rules, never rebellious, finding that weight is the one thing one has control over without anyone else's saying, not understanding at first, misdiagnosis by doctors, then therapy and finally discovery. It's textbook.

And anorexia is not textbook.

But, like I said in the beginning, I may not be the right person to ask. I'm certainly not the most objective person to ask.

Therefore, I will neither recommend nor not-recommend this book. Read it at your own risk. It won't harm you (probably.)
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