Lesley Fairfield's first graphic novel is inspired by her long struggle with and recovery from anorexia and bulemia.
Anna's life, once happy and hopeful, is spiralling out of control under the weight of her eating disorder. The disease manifests in her head in the form of a demon called Tyranny, who promises to save Anna from the horror of becoming fat. Yet as she loses weight, (always a few pounds away from perfect), she also loses "school, time, income, relationships, health, writing, self, happiness, freedom, direction," then finally she loses her (bulimic) friend Cynthia to a heart attack, which finalises her decision to get help.
This book is a quick read but it’s packed with different aspects of the struggle with eating disorders, and illustrates how long and difficult (but also how worthy) the road to recovery can be. The author, a survivor herself, tells the story in simple language with empathy and honesty, while managing not to preach. The illustrations are simple; black and white and very emotive.
I’d recommend this book to anyone from intermediate age up – possibly to coincide with a health unit on body image.
Review by Alison
image by ! Santiago Alvarez !