Clare Dunkle seemed to have an ideal life - two beautiful, high-achieving teenage daughters, a loving husband, and a satisfying and successful career as a children's book novelist. But it's when you let down your guard that the ax falls. Just after one daughter successfully conquered her depression, another daughter developed a life-threatening eating disorder.
Copublished with Elena Vanishing, the memoir of her daughter, this is the story - told in brave, beautifully written, and unflinchingly honest prose - of one family's fight against a deadly disease from an often ignored but important perspective: the mother of the anorexic.
©2015 Clare B. Dunkle (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
I'm Audible's first Editor-at-Large, the host of In Bed with Susie Bright -- and a longtime author, editor, journo, and bookworm. I listen to audio when I'm cooking, playing cards, knitting, going to bed, waking up, driving, and putting other people's kids to bed! My favorite audiobooks, ever, are: "True Grit" and "The Dog of the South."
This was written as a companion book to Dunkle and her daughter, Elena's memoir, "Elena Vanishing." While "Elena Vanishing" brings you inside anorexia and gives voice to the struggle, Clare's story shows all the ways that a mental illness in the family affects everyone else.
Clare talks about the tension's and troubles beneath what looks like an ideal life, and also her process as a writer. It's fascinating to listen to her take the chaotic threads of real life, choose a voice and weave a narrative.
This is perfect listening for anyone who has been affected by anorexia, but even if you haven't, Dunkle is generous with her feelings and inner life. Dealing with a loved one's illness is terribly painful, you are powerless to make them try and to cure them yourself, so you have to find ways to help them and help yourself. Listening to Dunkle, you hear that she gets that.
Abby Craden gives a powerful performance letting through the vulnerability and the determination that live in Dunkle's character and making each voice for the rest of the family distinct and consistent.
That no matter how the mother viewed her daughter's experiences, she could not get into the center of her being, thereby leaving her on the outside and coming to her own conclusions and having to fight the battle on the information she got from her own perceptions of all that her daughter was hiding from her.
When her daughter began to completely come clean with her. When she was filling in the gaps, and explaining her actions, or inactions. It had to have been a huge relief to have the answers to all of the frustrating events when she hadn't previously known that she either had no explanations, or wrong explanations.
I would although I didn't care for her flat tone. I speak much the same and don't care for my own.
The other side of the spectrum-of the domino effect.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.