The Food of Love

The Food of Love If I could award this book 10 stars I would.I have never read a book so intense, so heartbreaking yet so frustrating, so insightful as The Food of Love Amanda took me on a journey and opened my eyes wide to Anorexia and the heartache and struggles this poor little girl faces on a daily basis.I shed many a tear whilst reading this book which never happens to me, and believe me when I say I have read a lot of true horrific stories But this one touched me like no other book has.You can see how much time and research Amanda has done whist writing each and every page.She mentions the Pro Ana websites and the tricks and sneaky ways in which Anorexia takes hold One moment sticks in my mind, when Lexi puts money in her shoes to make herself weigh.I really don t know where to begin.Lexi has Anorexia She lives at home with her big sister Charlotte and her Parents Freya and Lockie.At first Lexi s Mum gets called into the school after Lexi faints skipping meals.Freya dismisses the fact her little girl has the start of an eating disorder, until she finds her drawer in which contains bags and bags of sick In which she s been hiding from her family.Then begins the harrowing journey of self destruction, heartache, family melt downs, not to mention the painfull journey of recovery.There are many points within the book I want to shake Freya and tell her to wake up get Lexi medical attention But I can also see her point of view when she feels like she let her down, she bought Lexi into the world, fed her and gave her life So she should be the one to save her.But it soon becomes apparent Anorexia has other ideas and takes control of Lexi I applaud Amanda for making the story so real but showing the reader how Anorexia effects the whole family Not just the person suffering but every single member of the family.It consumed every single waking moment of their lives.Charlotte, Lexi s older sister found it very difficult dealing with Lexi, her school life and trying to stay strong for her family.There are a few moments within the book that you see Charlotte has been forgotten For example her school trip.Not once does she complain But you can clearly see how much she is suffering in silence Lockie, Lexi s Dad was very interesting he was so strong at times, but I wished he had been stronger at times As you could see Freya needed him to makes the tough love decisions even though she said she didn t necessarily agree.It broke my heart to see them struggling and trying to be United yet clearly they was on opposite pages.I thought I knew a fair bit about Anorexia, however Amanda opened my eyes and heart.I highly recommend The Food of Love I laughed, cried, got frustrated, but still I could not put this book down.I needed to know how it ended I wanted to see if Lexi had her happy ending.I hope when you read this book it touches you the way it has done to me.I thank Amanda and the publisher for allowing me to read this gem of a book.I Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review via NetGalley. SPOILERS INCLUDED This is a story about anorexia The horrifying, pervasive, immersively devastating illness of anorexia, and the author lays out the process and powerlessness of her characters journeys in painful detail and with tremendous passion and heart.As much as you may think you know about the disease, the stomach churning, revoltingly visceral and corporeal details of a child who spends every waking moment avoiding, analyzing, regurgitating, and rejecting food in the need to starve herself are brutal Sickening Horrifying But then there s really no other way to depict this disease, as it IS all those things.The family at the center, dominated by the maternally driven Freya, is a warm, cohesive, loving group at the story s beginning One of the most successful, if wrenching, elements of the book is following their steady downward trajectory as younger daughter, Lexi, becomes entrenched in the process of starvation older daughter, Charlotte, functional and healthy, finds herself lonely and unattended as her parents fixate on saving their youngest, and father husband, Lockie, struggles mightily to keep the entire family from fracturing beyond repair The roller coaster nature of their journey as they stumble through the unfolding drama is shattering and difficult, and Prowse is courageously unvarnished in her depictions of exactly what they endure.There are, however, certain parenting and medical choices that come across as problematic and we wonder are we supposed to support and agree with those Are they meant to stoke sympathy or rage Not completely clear, and as one who knows nothing about anorexia but a fair amount about partnering and parenting, I got frustrated and annoyed several time throughout the book when Freya s enabling, somewhat needy and pathetic behavior led her, as a wife and a mother, to behave like a hysterical, desperate teen I get it, on some level, but we were taken there too often, to the point that I wanted to shake her, hard, and say, man up, babe, this kid is DYING My biggest issue with the book, however, is in the pacing of that trajectory and, sorry to say, the end The book is weighted very heavily on the side of showing us, over and over, the dashing of hopes, the one step forward, three steps back aspect of what they experience We witness the seemingly inexorable decline and disintegration of Lexi, in every way imaginable, with the attendant whiplash effects on the family as they continue to grasp hope only to be repeatedly slammed to the concrete While all this feels authentic, that excruciating downward slide makes up the bulk of the book, interspersed with chapters comprised of sweet letters to Lexi written by the family which lead to the sense in what I presumed was an intended red herring that success was not to be theirs Right up until the last chapter, when Lexi is down to 63 pounds, with brittle bones, a damaged heart, checked into a mental medical facility, with seemingly no chance for survival, we mourn the imminence of that end, and then.The epilogue arrives and, lo and behold, the family is all together on a sunny beach, the girls are bouncing around in glee Lexi has, unfathomably, not only survived but flourished, and, it seems, we re meant to applaud the fortitude and perseverance of all involved To which I reacted WHAT How did THAT happen It s not that I minded the author ending on a sunny note She obviously had to choose SOME ending whether to make this a cautionary tale in which the victim succumbs, an open ended treatise in which we leave without knowledge of her fate, or a heart warming wrap up in which all s well that ends well The author chose the last, but the problem is there was no support, no lead up, no foundation for that ending.We saw, witnessed, read, experienced, none of it After spending 98% of the book immersed in the horrors the family endured, we get NONE of Lexi s healing process, none of what, finally, tipped her toward health none of what she experienced as she transitioned from a mentally ill, desperately delusional, minutes from death wreck to the happy, smiling teen bounding toward the waves at the book s conclusion.Frankly, I was stunned by that It felt inauthentic and narratively shallow That arc not only short changed readers by leaving out those details, it was a disservice to the very important theme of understanding the illness in a real way Without clarity about HOW this person beat anorexia, the book is left only as a compelling depiction of the horrors of anorexia, with a fluffy Hallmark ending slapped on the end.So I leave this with 3 stars It was well written, touching at times, with well defined characters, and a compelling theme, but the ending misses an opportunity to educate us on how the character gets to the sunny denouement the author chooses, diminishing its importance as an authentic narrative about anorexia.Why no voting buttons We don t let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others.Permalink Mixed review from me for The Food of Love, a story about the Braithwaites, a seemingly put together, nuclear family Freya is a food writer and doting mother Her husband, Lockie, is a photographer They have 2 teenage daughters Charlotte, who is wrapping up school before she heads off to university, and Lexi, their 15 year old Lexi and Charlotte bicker like teenage sisters often do, however as a whole, the family is a strong, united group The story is centered around Lexi s anorexia and how it deeply affects the entire family Freya and Lockie are shocked, frustrated, and devastated as they deal with the eating order and its impact on both of their daughters and their relationships, with each of them and with each other I can t imagine the toll this takes on a family and know it is realistic, to a degree It s easy to say I d never do that until directly faced with a situation yourself That said, the parents behavior, particularly Freya s, annoyed me to no end through the majority of this book Denial with a capital D Her failure to acknowledge what was truly going on and admit the severity of the situation, then address it authoritatively as a mom, instead of a friend longing to be the best friend, drove me nuts Your kid is dying and you passively sitting by, thinking a hug and a good cry will make it all better I wasn t trying to read a Lifetime Movie That s what a lot of this story felt like It also became repetitive Charlotte got shafted and I know if it was me, I wouldn t stand for it She must be a better person I did not enjoy the epilogue which felt incredibly neat and tidy for such a rocky, jagged path throughout the book The Food of Love is a darker, intense story than I anticipated it to be This is the first Amanda Prowse book I ve read and while I have mixed reactions to the story itself, I would probably read of her work. Food is her sickness and food is her cure Tears are rolling down on my cheeks, My heart is heavy, My mind get exhausted,All is irresistible I exactly don t know how I m feeling right now but this is so excruciating An excerpt from the book that explains what The food of love is all aboutI live in a house where anorexia has swept all of the joy associated with eating out of the door and in its place left an awkward dust that lingers on surfaces, tainting our everyday actions and yes, even tainting the food we place in our mouths I seriously don t know whether I like this book or not but it stabbed my heart badly The helplessness of parents, the stubbornness of Lexi, the anger of Lockie father , the motherly nature of Freya, the sufferings of Charollete, all the feelings are uncontrollable failing infront of the giant Anorexia I hate you Anorexia seriously it made me hate you I sleep restlessly throughout the night. My mum has always used the Eleanor Roosevelt quote A woman is like a tea bag You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water and that was the first thing that popped into my head when I met Freya in The Food of Love She is happily married possibly even a smug happily married to Lockie with teenage daughters Charlotte and Lexie Being a mum to teenage girls is a tough job I know but the unexpected horror of discovering Lexie is anorexic comes as a HUGE shock to all the family Amanda Prowse doesn t shrink away from showing this awful condition in its shocking entirety, stripping away the layers of romanticism of what people assume is just a desire to be slim It s such a misunderstand mental health issue and I hope this book will bring some clarity to a very difficult to raise subject She shows a family desperate to understand what is happening to their child and their utter helplessness in a situation that is totally beyond their control As a mother, you would assume that the character I empathised with most would be Freya but my heart went out to Charlotte, who was forced to take a back seat in her family while her parents put their entire focus onto Lexie and getting her better I didn t like the way Lockie behaved throughout certain events that happened but think it was a brilliant illustration of how many men struggle to deal with this type of family dilemma.I ve said it before and I ll say it again, nobody does domestic drama like Amanda Prowse She writes about characters who could be any one of our friends or family.or even us She has a gift for understanding family dynamics and making her fictional families feel like real people I always feel like an emotionally wrung out wreck after finishing her books I don t know how she does it This is another triumph for Amanda Prowse From the moment I saw that breathtakingly beautiful cover I knew this was going to be one of the most heartbreaking and emotive portraits of a normal family thrown into turmoil that I have ever read I think this is by far one of her most powerful books to date so be prepared for a wave of emotions that will stay with you long after you ve put it down. In a world obsessed with body image, this had the potential to be an insightful read about one young girls struggle with anorexia nervosa, if it had been told from said girls perspective Instead, it is told from the viewpoint of her rather overbearing mother who just happens to be a food blogger Almost every piece of dialect in the book is too upbeat to be taken seriously, to the point where it borders on cheesiness I understand the author wanted to create a relatively happy family picture before anorexia happened but in real life parents do not speak to their teenagers with such enthusiasm about Every Little Thing Similarly, unless you are considering a caricature of a teenager, they do not do the whole Daaaaad, you re so embarrassing thing either So many verbal sentences in this book ended with an exclamation point it made my head hurt.That being said, I appreciate the sentiment of drawing focus on a very misunderstood mental illness It s just a shame the story failed to intrigue me enough to learn about it instead I was merely reading to get to the last page. Full review to follow. Freya Braithwaite Knows She Is Lucky Nineteen Years Of Marriage To A Man Who Still Warms Her Soul And Two Beautiful Teenage Daughters To Show For It Confident Charlotte And Thoughtful Lexi Her Home Is Filled With Love And LaughterBut When Lexi S Struggles With Weight Take Control Of Her Life, Everything Freya Once Took For Granted Falls Apart, Leaving The Whole Family With A Sense Of Helplessness That Can Only Be Confronted With Understanding, Unity And, Above All, LoveIn This Compelling And Heart Wrenching New Work By Bestselling Author Amanda Prowse, One Ordinary Family Confronts Unexpected Difficulties And Discovers That Love Can Find Its Way Through Life S Darkest Moments I received a copy of this via NetGalley and the publishers in return for a fair and honest review.This turned out to be a much darker read than I was imagining as it deals with the devastating effects that an eating disorder has on a family.The Braithwaite family seem to be the perfect family a loving couple, Freya and Lockie, and their two daughters, Charlotte and Lexi Even the teenage girls squabbling seems to fit the normality of the family, but it soon becomes clear that one of the daughters, Lexi, is hiding a very big secret from the rest of her family And when that secret is revealed we get to see just how it affects every member of the family.I haven t read many books that discuss the topic of anorexia and bulimia and this story reveals the brutality of the illness from the many ways in which the sufferer goes to hide the problems, to how the parents and sister try and deal with getting through to their loved one.I did find myself not finding much empathy with the mother Freya While she struggled to find ways to get through to her daughter, all she seemed to do is push the medical opinions away and think that she could fix the problem by just pandering to her daughter and keeping her at home, when she clearly needed medical help I understand that most parents don t know how to deal with such issues but they often seemed to stick their heads in the sand and hope the problem would go away.I also found myself feeling sympathy for the other sister, Charlotte, as she was often forgotten about and left to deal with her own issues by herself and be an afterthought while her parents were too busy dealing with how the illness made them feel, and look as parents It was an eye opening read and did keep my attention as the struggles the family go through were moving, although I would have liked to have seem from Lexi s point of view maybe to try and understand and think this would have added an extra dimension to the story. The Food of Love is a difficult story to read, and I am not quite sure how to review it The story touches on some very complicated issues, so I will give it a bit of a think before I write a longer review For now, I ll just say I recommend it Find reviews and bookish fun at

Amanda Prowse was a management consultant for ten years before realising that she was born to write Amanda lives in the West Country with her husband and their two teenage sons.

✤ The Food of Love  Download ➸ Author Amanda Prowse –
  • Kindle Edition
  • 364 pages
  • The Food of Love
  • Amanda Prowse
  • English
  • 12 May 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *