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The Reading Cure

How Books Restored My Appetite
Narrated by: Laura Freeman
Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
5 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Summary

At the age of 14, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.

As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually rediscovered how to enjoy food - and life more broadly - through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves' appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf's painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.

The Reading Cure is a beautiful, inspiring account of hunger and happiness, about addiction, obsession and recovery, and about the way literature and food can restore appetite and renew hope.

Read by Laura Freeman.

©2018 Laura Freeman (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

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Beautiful Read

A beautiful moving read which had me tearing up listening at work. Her narration is heartwarming and raw.

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Whetted my appetite for the books!

This is a powerful memoir - it describes the isolation and crippling fear of social eating when anorexia has its hold. The author’s voice trembles in places, emphasising how harrowing her story is to re-live.

I was hugely impressed with part of the author’s summing up; every cookbook published nowadays has a different conflicting rule: avoid carbs, no dairy, turn courgette into pasta, no wheat, etc. This, I wholeheartedly agree is nonsense. We should stop it.

On to the books! Throughout the memoir, as expected, key books and their food related quotes are liberally sprinkled. What books! Almost every one of them I have ordered! Explained by the author, they sound intoxicating; Patrick Leigh-Fermor eating his way around Spain and Eastern Europe, American writer MFK Fisher and her adventures elegantly devouring legendary dishes, Edwardian cherry tarts at the village cricket before WW1 struck, French pastries painted lovingly by Monet. I couldn’t get enough!