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Brave Girl Eating

A Family's Struggle with Anorexia
Narrated by: Harriet Brown
Length: 8 hrs and 30 mins
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

Millions of families are affected by eating disorders, which usually strike young women between the ages of fourteen and twenty. But current medical practice ties these families' hands when it comes to helping their children recover. Conventional medical wisdom dictates separating the patient from the family and insists that 'it's not about the food', even as a family watches a child waste away before their eyes. In Brave Girl Eating Harriet Brown describes how her family, with the support of an open-minded pediatrician and a therapist, helped her daughter recover from anorexia using a family-based treatment developed at the Maudsley Hospital in London. Chronicling her daughter Kitty's illness from the earliest warning signs, through its terrifying progression, and on toward recovery, Brown takes us on one family's journey into the world of anorexia nervosa, where starvation threatened her daughter's body and mind. Brave Girl Eating is essential listening for families and professionals alike, a guiding light for anyone who's coping with this devastating disease.

©2010 Harriet Brown (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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On the fence

I really struggled to get through this book to be honest - not because the story wasn’t engaging for the most part, but more because of the narration! I would like to read the book to see if I would be more captivated than I was with the audio! I found the narrators tone to be pretty monotone a lot of the time and didn’t feel like she injected the right level of emotion at the right times! Certain really hard messages sounded like they were said light-heartedly. I also feel that she held back on what SHE was feeling which at times made me think ‘this woman must be super-human to be so patient’...but I don’t think that’s true because at times small pieces of her true feelings did come through! Personally I would have loved less stats and research facts, and more real, raw emotion!

Having also experienced anorexia first hand; I did find myself balking at some of the methods she described - a lot of it didn’t sit well with me BUT it was really, really interesting to read about a fresh new way outside of the traditional treatment! So whilst some of it I didn’t necessarily like - I’m really glad that she’s put it out there and given people another option because different approaches work for different people.

Overall, I think I pretty good story with some nuggets of wisdom. A book a probably would neither recommend nor dissuade someone from as it all depends on what people are looking for. Some may find it a fantastic read!

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review

Overall I am glad I read this book and particularly enjoyed the sections of the book where the author shared researched data and projects as well as historical information. The downside to this book is that through no fault of her own the author’s voice sounds young almost like the teenage daughter herself, so it was hard to imagine it was the mother you were listening too. Also I felt whilst she tried to uncover the effect that anorexia had on the family by labelling it the ‘demon’ I felt she detached herself and her daughter from the emotional reality and impact that the disorder had on the family. However, it’s worth a read if only for the interesting research she shares.

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Profile Image for JAson DeMink
  • JAson DeMink
  • 11-06-17

Wept thru the entire book, as a husband of 20 yrs

anorexic\bulimic wife, It took me months to finish this book, forcing me to recall, reconcile and find an empathy that was never before available to me. I wish i had read it 20 years ago when the first sign of the demon appeared. There is no guide for the spouse of someone allficted with an eating disorder, but this is the next best thing. Every chapter both clearly informing but painfully re-living the horrors of the rollercoaster. Every husband and parent needs this information. The signs, the treatments, the pathological condidions that destroy rational thought, the hiding, lying, and betrayls of trust will become recognizable and more than anything give you hope that there is chance AND a method for recovery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Robert Benz
  • 02-07-16

Concerned Dad

As a father to a newly diagnosed daughter, I found this book to be very helpful in knowing another family's experience in dealing with this medical condition. The author provided a great balance of her experience in caring for her daughter with medical and historic information about eating disorders.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mom/RN
  • 05-03-15

informative

as a nursing student I find the patient perspective invaluable and appreciate anyone willing to share their experience. an interesting, informative thought provoking listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark Beech
  • 10-12-19

My Daughter

This story is our truth with our daughter. We are all in a better place now, but I identify with many many things in this book. It does resonate honestly, how this experience is for all our family.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-09-19

One of the best books, I've heard in a while.

I love how real the story is, so relatable for parents facing any kind of problems, with children.

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  • Birth Matters NYC (Lisa Greaves Taylor)
  • 06-08-18

Must-listen for anyone touched by anorexia

This book is a MUST read for anyone whose family member or friend is diagnosed with anorexia (or suspects it). My dear friend's daughter was just diagnosed and their closest family friends are all reading the book in order to better support, encourage, and sympathize with their deeply challenging journey on the road to recovery. The author includes not only memoir, but also sprinkles in interesting and helpful data, facts and history on the condition. Very well written, too. Cannot recommend highly enough. It will help families dealing with this feel less alone and will offer a helpful alternative to sending a child away from home for treatment--one that seems to be more effective.

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  • william r babcock
  • 02-07-18

Should be required reading for anyone with a daughter

An absolutely outstanding book. The real life account from the mother’s perspective does a great job at helping to understand the disease, the torment it inflicts on the sufferer and the family challenges of dealing with it. It also makes you feel like “we are not alone in dealing with this”. So thankful to the author.

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  • Christine Hill
  • 20-05-18

great book for understanding anorexia

this book is a must if you have someone that you love that is struggling with anorexia. thank you to the author for putting it out there for everyone.

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  • Ashley Sawyer
  • 19-02-18

Must read

This is one of the best eating disorder books I have read. This story shows the true ups and downs of eating disorder recover and the impact the disorder has on the family. I recommend this book if you want to learn more about treatment and recovery as it impacts not only the individual with an individual, but to those surrounding her as well.

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  • EO
  • 19-08-15

UNREAL

What did you love best about Brave Girl Eating?

The narration was so powerful. This is a real mother describing her own excruciating battle against her daughter's anorexia with such candor and bravery.

What about Harriet Brown’s performance did you like?

She writes it the way it really happened. And she says it the way it happened. She is not overly emotional. She is straightforward in a very real way.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listened to this book with hardly any breaks - TWICE!

Any additional comments?

Thank you for sharing your story. It helped us immeasurably in our own fight against this horrible devil.