• Hungry for Life

  • A Memoir Unlocking the Truth Inside an Anorexic Mind
  • By: Rachel Richards
  • Narrated by: Rachel Richards
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (60 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this painfully moving memoir, take a firsthand look at anorexia through the eyes of a young girl. Even in kindergarten, Rachel Richards knows something isn't right. By leading us through her distorted thoughts, she shines a light on the experience and mystery of mental illness.

As she grows up, unable to comprehend or communicate her inner trauma, Rachel lashes out, hurting herself, running away from home, and fighting her family. Restricting food gives her the control she craves. But after being hospitalized and force-fed, Rachel only retreats further into herself.

With a driving perfectionism, she graduates college with honors. But at 69 pounds, Rachel is a shell of nervous and obsessive behaviors that have controlled her life. Years of self-harm and self-loathing have fueled the inner battles between good and evil, health and sickness, and life and death.

Acting on stage offers her moments of freedom from the skewed perceptions she's constructed over the years. But her dream of a career in theater is not enough to save her. What is the secret that will finally unleash her will to recover?

If you, or someone you know, suffers from an eating disorder or is a concerned parent, is anxious about weight and dieting, has an addiction, or wants to learn more about the mystery of how an eating disorder develops, and the multifaceted and complex road to recovery, this audiobook is a must-listen!

©2016 Rachel Richards (P)2017 Rachel Richards

What listeners say about Hungry for Life

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A Gripping Account of Anorexia and Recovery

This book is a fascinating first-person account of the author’s struggle with anorexia nervosa and the years that followed as she worked towards recovery.

Growing up in a safe, homogeneous community with nurturing parents and having a privileged upbringing did not prevent an eating disorder from setting in, and it’s the perfect illustration of why this is a disease that does not discriminate.

There were troubling signs even in kindergarten, but it wasn’t until she encountered her nightmare of a first grade teacher, whose cruelty could only be rivaled by Miss Hannigan from Annie, that things truly started going downhill. Relentless bullying became the norm and continued all the way through high school, leading to feelings of inferiority and a crushed self-esteem. Her experience with a psychotic friend from drama club is especially unsettling.

As time progressed, obsessive behaviors began to manifest and dieting became more extreme. Her quest for academic perfection was a driving force and often interfered with her social life. Family mealtimes turned into a war zone as the struggle between her concerned parents and Rachel’s need to control her food intake intensified.

After graduating high school, Rachel became increasingly withdrawn as college progressed. She did find success in the theater, but even that wasn’t enough to quell her feelings of unworthiness.

The author does a remarkable job of describing her journey through the debilitating effects of an eating disorder and the therapy, both inpatient and out, that followed, and recounting the events that led to her eventual recovery.

Narration by the author is excellent. She brings the different individuals in the book to life through tone and inflection, and you can hear the pain in her voice when she relives the torment of years past, as well as the joy of finding new love and new life in recovery.

The latter portions of the book cover facts, statistics, observations and offer helpful advice regarding eating disorders, making this an invaluable resource for those struggling, as well as their loved ones.

*I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

4 people found this helpful

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Intriguing

I enjoyed listening to this book. The story line was so in depth and I loved learning about her life outside of the eating disorder as well as the struggle she goes through everyday fighting the disorder. If you want to learn more about the impact of eating disorders, this book is for you!

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!!!!

This was an emotional story and honestly I cried a few times. I have struggled with my own eating disorder and even though my situation was different, I felt so much for this story. Great writing and the narration was really well done as well. I highly recommend this audio!!!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

2 people found this helpful

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The author is so unlikeable

The only reason I finished this is because I am a completeist. The author is so mean spirited and selfish. She hates fat people, and people who have sex and people who just like to have fun. Her hate for her sister is awful to hear. I don't feel bad when she talks about being an outsider. When you act like you are better than everyone else what do you expect. I feel bad she suffered from mental illness forcing her to starve herself. I hope as an adult she is recovered and doing well. She comes off as so unlikable in this book.

1 person found this helpful

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❤️

A fascinating look at an eating disorder. A whole lot of heart and soul went into the writing. Made me tear up a few times. Well worth a listen.

Fantastic job by the narrator. Very well done.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful

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Anorexia from the mind of an anorexic

This is a powerful book. A truly honest look at anorexia from someone who has lived it. We hear of anorexia but most of us don't understand that it is truly devastating to the person who has it. Through this book I can see how it takes hold of the mind and totally distorts it so the way the person thinks about their body and weight loss is so far out of whack they can easily starve themselves to the point of death and still think they are too fat. This book takes us right inside her mind so we can understand how it starts, progresses and how it takes over her life and distorts her mind. Although at times it is difficult to listen to, this is a truly amazing book and I recommend it to everyone. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 person found this helpful

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wow, What a story!

This is such a tragic story. About one girls struggle with life. It starts early in her life of just 5 years old. From everything from a eating disorders, to OCD, and just not feeling worthy of life. Its truly heart breaking. And it shows the struggles of life for her. Just something as simple as eating with her family at dinner was a chore, even at such a young age.
this is truly worth a listen, especially if you know someone with an eating disorder. it shares such an insight into their life.

The writer is also is the narrator, she does a great job telling us her story.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Where Do I Start?

Between the odd, somewhat immature choices in vocabulary, the weird time switches in the authors headspace, switching from her recollection of her emotions to her current interpretation of her past emotions mid-sentence, and the overall over-acting in her narration, this book was a real struggle to get through. The first 3 hours of the audiobook, I felt like I was being read to as if I was a child. It does get a little more tolerable as you go on past that, but not by a lot. I feel the author did a disservice to her work by self-narrating, not that it would have helped the story much. The general content of the story was questionable, especially in the context of being a book meant to help people who may be struggling. The author has a persistent self-congratulatory, almost arrogant attitude towards everything, despite the forced in loathing for herself that seems to be added for the mere function of relating her own struggle to the typical struggle of someone with an eating disorder. The author seemingly made a ham-fisted attempt to include every eating disorder trope into the story, though oddly not through her own character, but through other characters she included in the story. All the dialogue seems staged and forced. Though I know she claimed in the beginning that it's a recollection and not entirely accurate, it pushes it into the boundary of unbelievable. My final critique is just the endless amount of irrelevant information about people and places that have little to no context to the story that just feels like filler to buff out the story. In no way am I trying to illegitimate the struggle of the author, I'm sure what she went through was difficult for not only herself but also for her loved ones. I just think that this book needed a lot more thought and depth before publishing it.

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Boring

The writer drones on about irrelevant information to the story and over narrates the story trying too hard to make the lack-luster writing sound interesting.

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Entertaining and informative

This book was amazing for anyone struggling. It made me feel less alone in my own struggles. Hearing the depths of her sadness really resonated with me

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  • Rubycat
  • 05-20-20

An actual honest review

Almost all these good reviews are “unbiased” after being given a free listen for a good review, therefore the ratings become irrelevant.
I struggled through the over dramatic baby gabble at the beginning, and waited to feel any sense of sympathy for the girl. At worst she is just a poor little rich girl, out to blame everybody around her for her awful life with loving parents and siblings, with a decent education and secure home. I really feel bad for how she treated her family- especially her sister Valerie. It was hard to listen to.
I’ve been that older sister- not because I’m overweight, but because I have a spoiled brat of a brother 10 years younger than me, who I love dearly but breaks my heart every time he’s spiteful to his older siblings and parents. I also got bullied at school (I am Autistic) that doesn’t give you reason to be mean to the ones that love you. Lastly, I have anorexia- quite badly. I am sympathetic to that, it is living hell. I hope she recovers and remains well. Nobody deserves an eating disorder, but It also is no reason to be such a bad angry person.
Finally, on a positive note, the story has been written well and it seems honest enough.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-07-22

annoying narrator.

I really want to like this book. the reviews looked great. I've given it time but not convinced.
im 11 chapters in and I really can't stand the little girl telling the story and her attitude towards life. I feel like I'm meant to feel sorry for her but she's so annoying.
The narrators voice is very childish especially when doing other people's voices so that doesn't help at all!
11 chapters in and I feel it could have been summed up in half of that time.....

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