Once again, I bring to you a review of a book that deals with some difficult topics, some that you yourselves may have dealt with in your everyday lives. Millions of people around the world struggle with eating disorders, but unless you have lived through dealing with one, are still in treatment, or have even seen someone close to you who suffers from any of the various diseases, it is hard to imagine how real the fight is. Portia de Rossi, an actress famous for starring in shows such as "Ally McBeal" and "Arrested Development", tells us her story of her battle, in her own words.
Over the course of several years, we see Ms. de Rossi's downward spiral, from a young girl desperately wanting to make it in the modeling industry, to a young woman who thinks being thin is essential to becoming a star. We share in her triumphs as she breaks into a world that is famous for being fickle, and we share in her darkness when she is faced with the harsh realities of life with an eating disorder. We want to cheer her on as she makes progress, and encourage her when she is at her lowest. She does not spare the harsh details that many stars do when faced with writing memoirs. Instead, she turns them into lessons that she can impart to her readers, so perhaps they avoid making the same mistakes she made.
This book is a compassionate look at the complicated mindset of victims of eating disorders. It explores the psychology of why these individuals view the world in the way that they do, and why it is difficult to treat them at times. But most of all, this book carries a message of hope. It reassures us that healing is possible, that it is possible to succeed while being yourself, no matter what shape or weight you are. Most importantly, it reminds us that we are not alone. Even stars, who we tend to think have perfect lives, can suffer insecurity, desperation, and fear of failure just as we do. It is a book that is meant to touch and change lives, if even in the littlest way.