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 14-year-old with a thirst for life and a palate for the flavors of Vietnam and Afghanistan was replaced by a weight-obsessed, antisocial, 100 pound 19-year-old. From anorexia to bulimia and back again - many times - the Himmels feared for Lisa's life as her disorder took its toll on her physical and emotional well-being.
Hungry is the first memoir to connect eating disorders with a food-obsessed culture in a very personal way, following the stumbles, the heartbreaks, and even the funny moments as a mother-daughter relationship - and an entire family - struggles toward healing.
©2009 Sheila Himmel and Lisa Himmel (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Having had past struggles with food issues as well as watching friends struggle I like to read and listen to books that depict others stories of recovery. This is not that book. Although touted as the story of a Mother/Daughter struggle very little is heard from Lisa and much is heard from her mother about her life as a food critic and the history and psychology of eating and why we eat with many, many references to other's books. It makes me think that they advertised this as a memoir to sell more books. I'll be returning mine and hope that Lisa is doing well in her recovery as I won't be making it to the end of this book to find out.
This book is sold as an eating disorder memoir, but it's much closer to a memoir of Sheila Himmel's life and illustrious food writing career, which happened to be heavily affected by her daughter's eating disorder. Large portions of the book are devoted to Sheila's childhood, career path, professional accomplishments, and in-depth looks at her mindset and point of view, whereas we catch what seem like only superficial glances into her daughter's experience of her eating disorder or treatment. Events that you might expect to be detailed and analyzed by Lisa -- her hospitalizations, her relapses, for instance -- are instead mostly explained from an outside perspective by her mother. Other events, such as Sheila's investigative story on a restaurant which served pork passed off as veal, were told in much greater detail. There are also lengthy chapters solely discussing cultural phenomena around eating (not even eating disorders) and ED treatment. These chapters might be more valuable if they came from studied experts in the field of eating disorders as opposed to this random mom who had one experience with her child and decided she knew everything.
Hungry is strangely organized, unfocused, slow-paced, and irritating. Do not read this if you are interested in an eating disorder memoir and/of insights into the mind of a sufferer.
yes on both counts
yes because I find it brave that they were able to tell their story,
no I found it a tad slow
I couldn't really because there's not a lot of meat on the bones here.
It was kind of a struggle to read. it was more quoting other books than an actual memoir
Very hard to follow where in the timeline the story is. I enjoyed Lisa's sections more than the Sheila's. It was nice to hear both sides of the coin but I wish Lisa had more of a voice in this book. Although being a food critic and journalist I wonder if Sheila was pushy when it came to writing this, hence the feeling this book was more about her. It should also be noted that Sheila talks about food constantly due to her "great" job as she calls it, and how wonderful it is that she is able to be thin, which could be very disheartening and triggering for someone with an eating disorder. I felt like she was trying to throw it in people's faces time and time again.
Read this book if you are stable in your eating disorder.
I would not readily suggest it as one of my top 10 books for parents to read if they have a child who has an eating disorder. It may place in the top 20 though.....
The best part was each storyline was read by different narrators.
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