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Paperback Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia Book

ISBN: 0425227901

ISBN13: 9780425227909

Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia

A unique eating-disorder memoir written by a mother and daughter. Unbeknownst to food critic Sheila Himmel-as she reviewed exotic cuisines from bistro to brasserie- her daughter, Lisa, was at home starving herself. Before Sheila fully grasped what was happening, her fourteen-year-old with a thirst for life and a palate for the flavors of Vietnam and Afghanistan was replaced by a weight-obsessed, antisocial, hundredpound nineteen-year-old. From anorexia...


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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

We need more of these experiences shared

Eating disorders are a major problem as I have dealt with several in my experience in counseling teenagers. It is sad and difficult to understand why young woman do this to themselves -- but we live in a world that promotes the "model" figure and the obsession to diet. This book, "Hungry", was extremely interesting and warmed my heart to see a mother and her daughter grow closer together as they dealt with the problem. If you do know someone with an eating disorder, this book will provide you with some valuable insight from the experiences of this family. It is written with feeling and love --even some humor. I would highly recommend the book and suggest after you read it, share it with others. We all know it is a problem in our society and the Himmel's have helped us understand how their family is dealing with it.

a great contribution to the plethora of eating disorder memoirs out there

I have to admit, I'm completely fascinated by eating disorders. Fascinated in a car-crash type of way: I want to learn everything I can about them, I can't look away from any literature I can find on the subject, but the entire idea of starving oneself makes me so sad and almost sick to my stomach. So when I was approached about reviewing Hungry, I absolutely jumped at the chance. This book is different from most eating disorder memoirs (and trust me, there are a LOT out there, some better and more interesting than others) in the fact that it's mostly the story of the anorexic's mother, Sheila. Lisa, the girl who suffers from anorexia, did co-write the book, but the memoir is much more Sheila's than her daughter's. And I have to say that it was quite interesting to read about anorexia from a mother's point of view. No parent wants to see their child hurt or suffering in any way, and this feeling must be compounded by about a billion when it's your child who is actually doing the harm to him/herself. Hungry perfectly illuminated this feeling - Sheila had to watch while her daughter starved herself for years, and she was completely unable to do anything that would help Lisa get better. I definitely appreciated that Lisa had a voice in this memoir, too, because it was very interesting to read about certain periods of her life from Sheila's point of view, then read right away how Lisa experienced those same situations. At the time of the book's publishing, it was said that Lisa was in recovery from her eating disorder, and it was made clear that she is not "recovered" fully - she stated that she absolutely still has food issues, and has to make a conscious effort to not go back to disordered eating. I liked that she was so candid about her disorder; I think it is a help for women and girls who struggle with food issues to know that even someone who is "recovered" has to really work at being healthy. The disorder doesn't just go away, it's something that it is always a part of life if you have it, and I am glad that Lisa Himmel made this very clear in the book. Hungry has a lot going for it. It is a super honest portrayal of one family's experience with an eating disorder, and because of its truth there is are a lot of heartwarming and funny moments in this book. It's not all doom and gloom, the Himmels seem like an extremely close and loving family and that really shows through in the book. I enjoyed this memoir and I finished it feeling close to Lisa and Sheila, and hoping for Lisa to get better and stay better - from what she wrote, it sounds like that is finally happening for her.

Riveting and Essential

Although my family isn't dealing with eating disorders, I believe this book is essential reading for every mother of a daughter, every daughter, even every woman. There is so much truth in these pages, which are written beautifully and bravely, about the mother-daughter relationship as well as our culture's obsession with appearance. Both Himmels write with self-knowledge, but without self-pity. They write about near-tragedy, yet are never humorless. They manage to disagree with each other, yet express their love. What an accomplishment! You won't be able to put it down.

Not just about Eating Disorders

Hungry should be read by every ED patient, as well as family members of anyone who suffers, or has suffered, from an Eating Disorder. In fact, the Himmel women's canvas extends beyond themselves - their painting, in one way or another, is that of every family. It will start conversations that may not happen otherwise. It's not an overstatement that Hungry has the power to change, and even save, lives.

A moving mother-daughter story

Hungry is heartbreaking, funny, and hard to put down. It's a wonder to have a book on the troubles that beset families (the kind of books so many parents pick up, whether or not our children have the particular issues dealt with in the book -- here it's extreme eating disorders)that is so well written. The mother involved is an award-winning journalist, and it shows. If you happen to live with someone with eating disorders, you will take away a tremendous amount of insight and useful information. If you don't, you will be enlightened on the topic and also be moved by this inter-generational story of child-rearing, professional ambition, and the love and hate of food. Highly recommended.
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