I've been quite busy lately, and my to-read stack was getting out of control. I fell behind, and so it was a really cool surprise to finally get to read the final version of Bev Mattock's book, When Anorexia Came to Visit today. You never know what gems are just sitting there.
I have a rule that I don't review books I don't genuinely like. I don't endorse books, even of friends, unless I'm ready to live with having my friends and readers go out and buy it and tell me about it later.
I really, really like this book. And not because I wrote a little intro or because I know several of the families inside, including the author -- though that is an extra thrill.
I like this book, and I'm endorsing it warmly, because it tells the world what I know is true and important. It shows real families facing eating disorders with all the heroic, courageous, exhausting love that I know is going on all over the world. If we want to beat the stereotypes and truly change the way parents and families are regarded this is a 20-dose package of that medicine. These perfectly normal yet also extraordinarily challenged families are the antidote to images of over-involved, uncaring, crazed, clueless parents. Yet each is unique: there is no one solution or one lesson.
Each family's story, wonderfully edited by Mattocks, is a view to family commitment and engagement.
Families who have been part of the F.E.A.S.T. and Around the Dinner Table community will cheer for the families and even recognize a few!
Another feature of this book is that all these families are in the UK. This adds to our library of family stories that includes My Kid is Back with Australian families and Just Tell Her To Stop with US families. The healthcare systems and culture of each country contribute to the relevance of each family's story. Although I considered myself familiar with the particular issues in the UK I learned a great deal more here than I knew before.