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Book Title: Early Disorder|
The author of the book: Rebecca Josephs
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 2.14 MB
City - Country: No data
Edition: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of issue: 1980
ISBN: No data
Loaded: 2063 times
Reader ratings: 5.9
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This was such a complex book. Willa is 15, a middle child in a fairly perfect family. She doesn't become anorexic until about 1/3 of the way into the book. The beginning sets everything up - her depression and anxiety. It also relates multiple incidents that could be viewed as triggers for her delicate psyche. A peeping tom catches her a dressing room at Bloomingdales. A sexual encounter with a boy. The entire book feels like it's happening in very slow motion. I almost gave up on it, but it picks up when she actually starts becoming anorexic.
What I did not find very realistic is that Willa's parents never take her to the hospital, but rather keep her seeing a psychiatrist who urges her that she must "want" to get better and she can only do the work for herself. Eventually, Willa reaches her goal weight of 70 pounds, with everyone watching. At what point would her parents have hospitalized her if not by then? The family continues to let things go on, urging her to eat here and there. It gave me anxiety just reading it.
Toward the end, Willa's friend Ellen commits suicide (whose depression is hinted at only once by her alcohol abuse) and it is unclear how this really affects Willa. Was it supposed to be wake-up call? What was the point? Finally, her French teacher (who has not made an appearance since the very beginning of the book) invites her to visit with her family in France for the summer, and Willa has to make a "decision" to get better or not, and start eating. And it just ends.
I think this was probably a very personal book for the author, Rebecca Josephs. Unfortunately there is little biographical information available about her. This is probably one of the earliest young adult books written about anorexia, and for that I think it could be looked at a pioneer in the genre.
Milestone: my 1000th book on my read shelf!
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