Saturday, 10 December 2016

The Food of Love - Amanda Prowse


A loving mother. A perfect family. A shock wave that could shatter everything.

Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.

But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.

In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments.


First of I would like to thank the Author/publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this book for an honest review.

The Food of Love is by far one of the hardest books I've read. it wasn't hard to read because it was badly written because it deffinetly wasn't.  it wasn't hard because the plot was terrible because that's wasn't either.  it was hard because the plot was so raw and true, a real look into the life of not only a teenager suffering with an illness but also a look into the life of a family who have to try and deal with it.

I felt really connected to each of the characters and they were really easy to sympathise with. Alexia who is the character the plot revolves around, is struggling with her weight, she's only 15 and soon diagnosed with Anorexia after a very 'sickening' discovery by her mother. She's a very delicate character, she tugged at my heart and I really felt for her and how she felt emotionally.

The book is mostly written in Freyas point of view, as the mother of Alexia and Charlotte she has a bond with her children and adores them and once she becomes aware that her youngest is not quite alright she automatically goes all 'protective mother' on her and tries to figure out what is so wrong. Freya is a writer, mostly a food/health writer and everyone in the book hasn't heard of Anorexia which was quite a twist. I felt for Freya, she often thought her mother bond and 'I know my daughters better than you' and 'mother knows best' mindset would set everything straight but she's made aware that it's not that simple.

Charlotte is the eldest daughter who at intervals we get see the story from her perspective, but she was a relatable character and I really felt for her, she struggled with coming to terms with the diagnosis of her younger sister, a sibling she should have protected.  She is under pressure and soon feeling forgotten by her parents and understandably gets upset alot. She was a really good character, she was never trying to be anything but a big sister and good daughter.

Lockie however, the male in the story is Freyas husband. He refuses to believe that Alexia is ill and that it's all just for attention, but something must click because he's soon ready to snap his daughter out of it all, fed up of her refusal to eat he often lashes out upsetting his youngest daughter, making the whole ordeal alot harder to deal with. He and freya constantly fight over what's the right and wrong thing to do.

As characters they were diverse in the way they handled the whole situation throughout the book and I thought that they were a great mix as their approaches to the situation were a perfect view of what happens daily in the real world in the same situation.

I've heard that people dislike this book because A) none of the characters know of Anorexia B) that the parents were borderline neglecting their child by refusing her medical attention she needed and that C) Lockie was right all along. Here's what I say to that.

Have you ever thought that Anorexia doesn't exist in this book world just so the reader and characters can learn and be informed about it at the same time instead of knowing random facts about it? I liked that it didn't exist in this world, it's a new perspective as there are families and people in this world that don't know of many of the mental illnesses that effect people nowadays.

This one is the one that gets me. Freya and Lockie are parents that are suddenly told their daughter isn't well at all, that there's something worth worrying about. They have no idea how to deal with what's happening and are focused in trying to find out and help their youngest daughter. It wasn't borderline child abuse/neglect, it was a reaction of parents who are suddenly told their child is sick and that it's going to be hard to work with. They have different approaches, Lockie yells, demands, forces. Freya is gentle, she asks, discusses, guides. They get their daughter treatment when they figured out the best route to go. Not knowing what to do in this situation is alot different to child abuse/neglect.

Lockie is somewhat of a forceful character, he wanted his family to be normal again as soon as, he rushes his decisions and forces his ways upon his child, forcing her to do things that push her to her limit. Sometimes brute force works and sometimes it doesn't. Lockie's choices for the sake of his daughter were never the right or wrong ones, they were just the ones that seemed best at the time.

What I thought was a lovely touch was the switching between Freya and Charlotte's POV as they both told stories and wrote letters to Lex which they layer give to her. It was really nice to hear of how the family had been before now and all the memories they had.

Although hard to read, sometimes leaving me teary eyed I really liked the book. It was a refreshing experience to see how a family could be both torn apart and bought back together in the darkest of times. I would read more of Amanda's work without a doubt.  It was heart wrenching yet enlightening to see how the characters would recover.  I would easily recommend this to someone who wants to see it all from a new perspective, to experience a family perspective not just the 'sufferers/victims' perspective. It's a 5/5 for me. Deffinetly worth a read and a tear jerker at that.

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