The Reading Cure: How Books Restored my Appetite


We recommend this…

for anyone who would like to read about a lived experience of recovery from anorexia, and for anyone interested in reading for wellbeing (aka bibliotherapy).

A quick summary…

Laura Freeman describes her experience of anorexia with vivid clarity, but then says “This is not a book about the anguish – and it is anguish – of anorexia. Others have reported the worst of the illness with searing clarity and honesty… This book is about what comes next. About the pouring in of sunlight after more than a decade of darkness and hunger.” The Reading Cure roves across the novels that re-kindled her interest in food and life, picking out all the brilliant details that Freeman found in her voracious reading – the only appetite she never lost.


Publisher’s description…

Shortlisted for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award

At the age of fourteen, 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 re-discovered 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.

‘Freeman’s pleasure in the food of literature … is infectious. The Reading Cure will speak to anyone who has ever felt pain and found solace in a book’ Bee Wilson

Additional information

Format Paperback
Weight 252 g
Dimensions 195 × 129 × 20 mm
Book Author

ISBN 9781474604659


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