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Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Please use this sub-forum to discuss any non-fiction books such as autobiographies or political commentary books.

Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#1 by kandscreeley
» 07 Apr 2017, 15:00

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Hunger for Life" by Candace Heather.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by kandscreeley
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Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Likewise approximately 20% of those with eating disorders will die from complications of their disease. These days all we have to do is look at Hollywood, social media, or newspapers to find someone suffering from an eating disorder. While more and more people are coming forward about their own problems, it is still in its infancy as far as treatment goes.

Hunger for Life is the tale of one woman’s suffering not only at the hands of bulimia but also at the hands of a controlling therapist. The book is broken into three parts. In the first part, Candace Heather tells of her early years. It is in this section that we see her bingeing and purging at the earliest stages as well as the most advanced. In part two, Ms. Heather discusses her time with a very controlling therapist. She describes the many “treatments” he used including “opt-out clothing.” It was his belief that she was appearance addicted. He therefore made her wear the worst clothes possible purchased only from second hand stores. The third part discusses the disease and what it takes to truly recover.

I think I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something about the food plan the author uses to abstain from her food addiction. Along with following the 12 steps of recovery adapted from AA, Ms. Heather adheres to a regimented meal plan. They are not allowed any of their trigger foods, and everything is weighed and measured. You may think this is extreme. However, while drug addicts can abstain completely from their drugs, food addicts must eat to live. Therefore a regimented meal plan is necessary to success.

I admire the courage it took the author to come forward with her story. This is a serious subject that affects too many people and needs to be discussed more often. There are many times while reading this book that I was shocked and appalled. At one point in the story, Ms. Heather goes into quite a bit of detail about the nature of her vomit. However, the graphic nature of some parts of the story is not overdone, only serving to drive her point home. Having said that, readers will want to be aware of this before any children read the memoir.

While much of the story is serious, there are moments that made me smile. One of the things that I love most is her relationship with her cats. Her cats were of much comfort to her during some very dark times. I am a pet lover myself, and I could relate to how nurturing and caring pets can be. It was instances like this where I was able to relate to the author. This then helped the story hit closer to home.

I would also just like to say that this story is not just about an eating disorder or only for those suffering from eating disorders. Ms. Heather suffers for years at the hands of a very controlling therapist. Even though it is never labeled as such, she is a member of what is almost a cult. This is what she must break free from while still receiving help for her food addiction. There are so many lessons in this book that we all can learn.

Rating a book like this almost seems cruel as you are rating the author’s life. However, I found very little to complain about with very few grammatical errors and a well-written story. So it is with joy that I rate Hunger for Life a 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend the reading of this book by everyone. Most of us know someone with some type of disordered eating. Those that do not would still benefit from the reading of this book as it covers so much more than an eating disorder.

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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#2 by Dh_
» 08 Apr 2017, 13:51

I think eating disorders are a difficult subject to discuss. I have known people that have struggled with them so I think it's very cool for someone to write a book on something so scary, for lack of a better word. It sounds like a great book.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#3 by kandscreeley
» 08 Apr 2017, 14:12

Thanks dh. I think there are lessons in this for all of us!
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#4 by Aimy
» 08 Apr 2017, 14:42

Your review has highlighted very interesting aspects focused on in this book. I hope this book will be very helpful in gaining an insight into the difficulties faced by people suffering from such disorders.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#5 by kandscreeley
» 08 Apr 2017, 14:52

Thanks aimy. There are so many take aways for everyone in this book. I recommend it to all.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#6 by Lest92
» 08 Apr 2017, 17:29

I think the controlling therapist is an aspect not often discussed - poor woman is already controlled enough - but something I would want to look into.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#7 by kandscreeley
» 08 Apr 2017, 17:39

My thoughts exactly lest. You definitely need to pick this one up.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#8 by Kitkat3
» 08 Apr 2017, 19:42

This is such a difficult thing to discuss, and I am glad that the author had the courage to tell her story. A lot of people don't fully understand what eating disorders are, so books like this will hopefully make people more aware. I personally had no idea that "trigger foods" were a major problem. The controlling therapist is also something that isn't talked about enough.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#9 by kandscreeley
» 08 Apr 2017, 19:47

I found it interesting that food is a drug to some people. Thanks for shipping by kitkat.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#10 by Chrys Brobbey
» 09 Apr 2017, 00:11

This is a new discovery to me that I need to broaden my horizon by reading. Thanks for a good review.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#11 by kandscreeley
» 09 Apr 2017, 07:28

Thanks Chrys. I highly recommend this book.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#12 by Amagine
» 09 Apr 2017, 07:52

This is a much needed book in today's society. Everywhere you look, the world is telling you how you should look. In magazines, you see slim women grace every page. The pressure to look the way the world wants you to ends up killing some people.

We need more books on the topic of eating disorders. It's horrible that the author had to deal with that and psychological abuse from someone who was tasked to heal her.

Great Review! :)
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#13 by kandscreeley
» 09 Apr 2017, 07:57

I completely agree amagine. We as a society are way too focused on looks. I admire the author for coming forward with her story.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#14 by Donnavila Marie01
» 11 Apr 2017, 04:26

Congratulations for this wonderful review. I also love to review non-fiction because it is very liberating. This book interests me since it discusses dieting.
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Re: Official Review: Hunger for Life by Candace Heather

Post Number:#15 by kandscreeley
» 11 Apr 2017, 07:20

We can definitely learn a lot through reading about other people's struggles. Thanks for stopping by Donnavila!
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