Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson

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“I believe that you've created a metaphorical universe in which you can express your darkest fears. In one aspect, yes, I believe in ghosts, but we create them. We haunt ourselves, and sometimes we do such a good job, we lose track of reality.” - Laurie Halse Anderson

Brutally honest, gripping and heart breaking Wintergirls depicts the harsh reality of both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Anderson's young adult novel has been criticised for being supposedly "pro-anorexia", personally I think this an insult to the brave writing by Anderson. Far too many people shy away from writing about controversial subjects such as eating disorders for fear of criticism, I admire those not afraid to write the honest, harsh reality of the life of those suffering with eating disorders.

The novel could be seen as triggering for those suffering from an eating disorder or those in recovery, that is understanding. However, the fact that can be triggering is a credit to the impressive writing of Anderson, the story is frightening close to the reality of eating disorders it is no wonder that it triggers people. Having said that I don't see any of this as a criticism, it does anything but glorify or glamourise eating disorders, it conveys the mental torture and physical implications of eating disorders every step of the way. I would recommend Wintergirls to those wanting to understand the mental health aspect of eating disorders, they are not diets gone wrong, they are serious disorders that are almost impossible to put into words.

“They yell at me because I can’t see what they see. Nobody can explain to me why my eyes work different than theirs. Nobody can make it stop.”- Laurie Halse Anderson

Furthermore I am so happy for the aspect of hope within the novel; I've lost count of the number of times I've heard people talk about eating disorders like they are permnament and not something you can recvoer from. People enter recovery every day and lead perfectly "normal lives", whatever they are.

“There is no magic cure, no making it all go away forever. There are only small steps upward; an easier day, an unexpected laugh, a mirror that doesn't matter anymore.” - Laurie Halse Anderson

Hannah x

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