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Paperback Holy Hunger: A Woman's Journey from Food Addiction to Spiritual Fulfillment Book

ISBN: 0375700870

ISBN13: 9780375700873

Holy Hunger: A Woman's Journey from Food Addiction to Spiritual Fulfillment

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Book Overview

"A worthwhile tale about true nourishment that comes not from [eating] but from engaging on a spiritual path." -- Los Angeles Times In this wrenchingly honest, eloquent memoir, Bullitt-Jonas describes a childhood darkened by the repressive shadows of her alcoholic father and her emotionally reclusive mother, whose demands for excellence, poise, and self-control drove Bullitt-Jonas to develop an insatiable hunger. What began with pilfering extra slices...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Holy Hunger: A Review

When first reading this book I couldn't help but wonder how the author managed to grow up in my house and I didn't notice her! Any Adult Child of an Alcoholic will find this book riveting and very personal. Her journey through her addiction to food, facing herself and growing is gripping. She avoids many of the "buzz words" that one often finds in self-help literature. While she uses many of the OA jargon, it's in the context of talking about OA. I admire the author's courage in opening up about her family, her problems and her road to recovery. A must read.

Holy Hunger Goes to the Heart

I have just finished using this Spring Rev. Margaret Bullitt Jonas' book for two courses at Boston College, one for pastoral ministry and counseling psychology graduate students on "Spirituality and Psychotherapy" , the second for advanced undergraduates on "Sexuality and the Spiritual Life". In my experience such students are tough- minded reviewers who easily pick up on cant, self-promotion and any note of emotional falsity. Uniformly they found this book an honest, intricate and nuanced presentation of life in one family - no more or less "dysfunctional" than many of them found their own. Ideological reactions to the text that grumpily and simplistically assign it to a genre of "victimology" simply have not read it as closely as these students who were awake to the genuine if complicated appreciation the author has for both of her parents - fully drawn individuals who the author sees with a completeness and complexity we all could learn from. It is a text I will continue to use professionally, and value personally.

A richly-textured story of hope and inspiration

I was inspired with the thoughtful and soul-searching story of Margaret Bullitt-Jonas. It's not too often that people have the courage and ability to share their experiences of hope and recovery in such a personal way. We get to see and experience the real-life issues around food addiction without many judgments and without prescriptions for quick fixes or tidy solutions to a very serious problem. An eloquent, passionate, often painful exploration of how we might better understand food addiction and compulsive behavior. I truly appreciated the author and her story.

A Triumph of Loving Honesty: Holy Hunger by M. Bullitt-Jonas

A searing reflection on growing up in a family of passionate, loving and flawed human beings, Holy Hunger is the product of a decades-long struggle by a person of courage and imagination to discover and honor her true nature. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas writes from the point of view of someone who is on the other side of years of suffering, telling a story of addiction, loss and renewal from a very unusual point of view. This former literary scholar turned minister combines a clear-eyed honesty about herself, her family and the lives they lead with a depth of compassion for her subjects that I have rarely encountered. Holy Hunger weaves together suffering, anger, insight and forgiveness in an engaging and moving way.It has always seemed to me an enormous occupational hazard of the novelist or autobiographer that one's duty to the craft collides with, and often trumps, one's loyalty to and respect for the feelings and memory of family and loved ones. If ever a book had the potential to support this thesis, Holy Hunger would have seemed to be it, as addictions and psychological wounds drive painful and self-destructive behaviors in two generations of a complex, high-achieving, and often very unhappy family. Instead, what one gets from Ms. Bullitt-Jonas is a blend of intellectual candor and emotional decency which one suspects is the result of sterling character, deep love, and great effort. This is a wise, strong, loving storyteller at work, and both she and her other subjects are in good hands.The question of why, how and whether people will come back from the precipice of self-destructive behaviors to fashion lives of meaning and joy is a topic of common importance to many, perhaps most of us. In Bullitt-Jonas's life, and in this book, the story is about those who make it and those who do not. This is the real stuff.There is a density to this book not reflected in the number of its pages, but despite its fullness, it left me wanting to know and hear more. At its end, I wished I knew even more about the nature of Bullitt-Jonas's spiritual journey, then and now. I wanted to hear her reflect and dig even more deeply into the nature of desire, as a spiritual longing, a physical condition, and a daily human emotion, particularly in this period of her life, at her strongest and most powerful. I suspect this is true for others of her readers. This is a great problem to have -- an embarrassment of intellectual and narrative riches -- and one I feel sure she will address in her future work. So we'll just have to wait for the next book, with pleasurable anticipation.

An intimate, honest memoir

Holy Hunger is an intimate, honest and balanced story of one woman's brave journey out of addiction and into grace. Her desire to confront her family's troubled legacies, and her movement beyond that makes this book far more than any kind of "dysfunctional family memoir." Her portrait of her (very much alive) mother is particularly moving and redemptive.
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