A new name
160 pages, £7.99
Star Rating: 4
This book traces the journey of the writer through twenty years of anorexia. She writes with remarkable honesty and deep insight which has been gained painfully. There is gentle humour combined with stark reality. It is the story of God’s work in the life of a very sick young woman.
The writer takes us from her happy childhood, through troubled teens to obsessive adult. She stopped eating when she was 13 and twice came close to dying.
She describes the changes in her personality during this time and the effects of her controlling behaviour and deceit on her family relationships, always denying there was a problem until Prov 14:12 became literally true for her. Medical intervention and her parents’ determination returned her to a measure of physical health, but the underlying issues remained.
She made a commitment to Christ in her early teens but only had a partial understanding of the gospel. Studying at Oxford, then working in London, and searching for a way to heal herself, she tried several churches, even spending some time with a cult before finally finding a Biblical church. She was married to a young curate when she relapsed into anorexia, and again death was close. Their Christian friends prayed and the Lord answered.
It was a delight to read the final chapters which describe the way the Lord led her, and showed her that His grace was not just for others but was for her too. She admitted her sadness and guilt, and found rest in Christ’s love. The strength to recover was not found in herself, but in Christ.
The long climb out of anorexia is a difficult journey and has resulted in many long term health problems including the likelihood of infertility. Emma’s story shows us that medical intervention, though essential, is only part of the story and she explains that recovery is more than choosing not to die, but is mainly about learning how to live.
This book is a unique addition to our understanding of eating disorders and other related forms of self-harm, and will be of enormous value to all who have an interest, whether as a sufferer, or as someone concerned for a sufferer. It will also provide valuable insight to those seeking to give Biblical counsel with understanding.