“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.”
The Food of Love is the first book I have read by Amanda Prowse and I am now looking forward to reading some more of her offerings. At first I was apprehensive about reading this thinking it was another run of the mill chick-lit book, but I was wrong, it’s an emotionally charged poignant tale of a young girl’s battle with anorexia. Every day in the media we are bombarded with images of perceived beauty and those who do not conform to these standards are labelled “fat” or “ugly”. I myself am guilty of spending hours online staring at pictures of celebrities, or at pictures on social media wishing that I looked like that, but this book is not about a general unhappiness, this book is about a mental illness that if left untreated will kill you.
Freya and Lockie have what looks like a lucky existence. Happily married with two smart and talented daughters they feel blessed. One of those daughters, Lexie, is hiding an eating disorder. She has stopped eating, and what she does eat, she brings back up, but mother Freya is completely oblivious to this. In fact Freya thinks Lexie looks great having lost the puppy fat she chastised her for having. When the school alert Freya that they think Lexie may have a slight problem with food Freya is in complete denial. She is a good mother, and no one knows Lexie like she does, right? When it comes to her daughters Freya is confident that mother knows best, but as Lexie’s condition deteriorates she is about to find out how far from true that really is…
This book was slow to start off with, lulling you into a false sense of security and before you know it you are experiencing a complete emotional rollercoaster. I experienced so many emotions throughout this book that by the end of it I was completely drained. The author has researched eating disorders well and goes into great depth on the condition, showing that anorexia is a real mental illness and not just teenage angst.
I did not take well to the character Freya. She works as a “Food Blogger” for a living yet was completely unaware of Lexie’s plight, and in complete denial of the seriousness of her daughters illness, going against all professional advice. However, I do think that there are mothers out there like that, so she was believable although frustrating, as a character.
The author cleverly draws you in to this gut wrenching story making it a compelling read. There were parts that were difficult to read, I felt anger as well as devastation, and it completely changed my view of anorexia. It is such a complex illness that goes beyond wanting to be thin.
Overall rating four stars, a beautifully written story with shock factor that people need to read. Thanks to Amandsa Prowse, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy which I have chosen to review.
About the Author
The second in the No Greater Love series, ‘What Have I Done?’ was an eBook sensation where women worldwide identified with the theme of domestic abuse in middle class households and it was subsequently voted a ‘Best Book of 2013’ by Amazon Kindle. Amanda followed this by joining the team of the ITV This Morning show as their resident author in 2013.
All of Amanda’s books in the No Greater Love series share one common theme – the main characters are ordinary women who find themselves in extraordinary situations where their strength, resourcefulness and determination is tested to their very limits.
Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Follow Amanda on Twitter @MrsAmandaProwse, or become friends with Amanda on Facebook. For more information on Amanda’s books see http://www.amandaprowse.com
The covers for the series are works of art in their own right by the award-winning designer Ami Smithson of Cabin London.