The start of the story shows us one perfectly ordinary, happy family. The pace is slow and gentle…lulling the reader into a sense of false security. The author gives us detail about the family.
Freya, the mother, thinking she is in control because she knows and ‘writes’ about food. She bullishly insists Lexi, the anorexic 15-year-old daughter stays at home while she deals with this ‘blip’ in Lexi’s life. Lexi’s father, Lockie doesn’t at first realise the seriousness of the situation. Once he accepts that Lexi has a serious mental illness, he argues with Freya that pure love and keeping an eye on Lexi at home will not work. She needs more extreme treatment including hospitalisation. The person I felt the most sympathetic was Charlotte, Lexi’s older sister. Overlooked, ignored to a certain extent, and battling with her own problems with her forthcoming A-levels and simply growing up.
The book is well written, flows well and easily absorbed by this reader. I found myself wanting to get back to my read each evening, but there were a few things which jarred. Freya was an absolute pain. She was full of love but couldn’t bring herself to be firm with Lexi. She turned away from outside help to a great extent until it was critical and this was probably the reason that Lexi ended up so sick. On the whole though the family were believable.
This is an emotive and for some, a harrowing read. It helps show what this mental illness is like. As well as the harsh and horrific effect on the sick person, anorexia rips through the lives of those living around the patient.
I award 4.5 stars for The Food of Love. My first Amanda Prowse read and probably not the last. Well done.