Happy Christmas Eve and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Food of Love by Amanda Prowse.
What They Say:
Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years happily married to a man who still excites her, two beautiful teenaged daughters, and her dream career as a health food writer. Her home is filled with love and laughter, with a passion for food at its very core.
But no amount of love could have prepared Freya for the devastating impact of anorexia and bulimia on her family. In a desperate battle to rescue her youngest child from its clutches, Freya will do all she can to save her daughter, her marriage and her family. But how can she when food, the social glue of their family, is both the problem and the solution? Is Freya’s own obsession with clean eating partly to blame? And how can you save someone who doesn’t want to be saved?
What I Say:
As always, I was excited at the prospect of a new Amanda Prowse novel. I knew I was in for an emotional read, her books always are, but I couldn't have known quite how hard this story would hit me.
The character of Lexi may only be 15 years old, but I identified with her pain in such a real way. My struggle and way of harming myself were different but the pain and self-hatred are the same. Lexi made me so sad, so desperately sad. I cried a lot of tears over this book. I read it twice, back to back, something I have never done before. It woke me up in the night to read a bit more. It haunted my thoughts for days.
Such is the power of Amanda Prowse. You just know that when you see her name on a book, you are in for a rollercoaster ride. I don't want to make this sound like a downer of a book, it wasn't at all. It was hopeful, warm and showed how a family can pull together when things hit rock bottom. There seems to be a strong family at the heart of most of Amanda's books. I love that. Freya, Lockie and Charlotte are such brilliant support for Lexi. They are so upset by her struggles but they do their utmost to hold it together and form a united front to help their youngest child through a very real, dark illness.
The research into Lexi's story, not only her physical state but the help available, the emotional highs
and lows and the very real people who supported the family, must have been so painstaking. It's all so real, so sympathetic and raw.
I loved everything about The Food of Love, except for the fact that people have to go through this horrible illness at all.
Powerful, emotional, gripping, beautiful and haunting.
Another perfect read from one of my favourite authors. 11/10
Behind the Story:
Inspired by Amanda’s own extreme struggle with body image and a family history of anorexia, this is a compelling and heart-wrenching look at family, food and the challenge of raising teenagers in our self-obsessed, image conscious society.
She now recognizes that the habits of her once anorexic mother had a profound effect on her growing up. By writing about eating disorders in The Food of Love, Amanda has faced her own food demons and has made incredible steps to correcting her unhealthy relationship with food. Since she started writing the book, Amanda has lost one and a half stone and aims to reach her target, healthy weight by 1st December, the publication date of The Food of Love.
The research into The Food of Love and eating disorders This novel confronts the issue of eating disorders, and in her research Amanda spoke to many sufferers of eating disorders and their families to fully understand the issue and its effect on a family as a whole. Several of the women she spoke to were her own readers, who having read Another Love which looks at the struggles of alcoholism, reached out to say it helped them understand their own demons with food. The ages of her interviewees ranged from 14 to 40 years old, and she recalls one interviewee telling her ‘When I die, then I will have won’. She also spoke to a family who had lost their child through an eating disorder, and she recalls them speaking of the relief they felt that their child was no longer suffering. Many of these experiences are depicted in The Food of Love and Amanda has ensured that her depictions have been well-researched and based on real-life account of eating disorder sufferers.
Connect with Amanda on Twitter at @MrsAmandaProwse and on Facebook/amandaprowse
Praise for Amanda Prowse:
‘A truly amazing piece of drama about a condition that could affect any one of us in a heartbeat. Every mother should read this book’ – Danielle Lineker
‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan
‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail
‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello!
‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun
‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan
‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat
‘Magical’ – Now magazine
The Food of Love is out now in Ebook and Paperback.
Thanks to Amanda and Simeon Prowse for my copy in exchange for my honest review.