December 2016, Lake Union Publishing, 10 hours & 35 minutes, Audiobook, Review copy from Audible
Content: severe anorexia issues, occasional bad language (I think, can't quite remember), very sweet romance
Summary from Audible
A loving mother. A perfect family. A shock wave that could shatter everything.
Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.
But when Lexi's struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.
Until I wrote this review I hadn't realised that Amanda was the narrator, which is really cool because she knows exactly how each voice should be! & the voices work really well. Shortly after finishing this book it was temporarily unavailable on Audible, who I'm reviewing it for. It may be because closer to the end there were several parts which hadn't been edited out, where Amanda made a mistake in the narration and then repeated herself. I personally didn't mind this, one of the unintended out-takes was hilarious, and answered a question I'd had as to how audiobooks in general are recorded. Thankfully you can now purchase it!
This book is sheer brilliance. I adore family centred reads, which this definitely is. How Lexi's anorexia is discovered had me in tears. Freya goes into a lot of denial which drives her husband potty (at one point I thought they'd split up because of their differing views about Lexi). The lengths Lexi goes to avoid eating are so sad to read, knowing that many people in real life suffer similarly. What is most apparent is the bonds of love between all the family members. No matter how they feel about each individual situation, even when they are extremely mad at each other, they are linked through family love, and do what needs doing rather than what they want to do when times are tough.
There is a lot of discord, especially when Freya is trying to pretend Lexi is getting past the anorexia. I sighed a lot when Freya lived in lala land (aka denial), but as both the family and myself were shocked with more revelations about the seriousness of Lexi's condition, Freya and reality met up. It was interesting that Freya knew she was too close to Freya to take difficult decisions, which made the medical and psychological help provided by the medical team very welcome, as some things were taken out of their hands.
There was a very good depiction as to how anorexia affects siblings: poor Charlotte got forgotten about a lot while Lexi was the centre of their parents' interests. She had to skip out on going to events, especially when new disasters cropped up. Naturally Charlotte got a little bitter about it, but she was able to work though that in a sweet way that made me cry.
This is an extremely shocking read, I think it's true-to-life too, and I had to take a few breaks in listening to it because it got a bit too hard at times, but that's a personal issue I have. I take a lot of things to heart, which is why I don't read lots of books like this close together. I love it, and I'm already looking forward to relistening to it!
Find out more on Amanda's website.
For another read that deals with eating issues check out Nothing Tastes As Good by Claire Hennessy (Young Adult, 9/10E, short and sweet review)