“Why can’t you just get her to eat?”
This is the question the Anne Tonner is asked on many occasions, and a question that she asks herself often.
Anne is a Human Right’s Lawyer, making her mark and settling into a new job when her daughter’s school calls to tell her that her daughter is unwell. These calls happen frequently over a few weeks; eventually the doctor diagnoses her daughter Chloe, with Anorexia.
Chloe has stopped eating as she believes she is fat.
Chloe is 13 years young.
What ensues is over 3 years of battles.
Chloe’s battle with anorexia, and the demon which she named “Cold Vein”. Anne’s battle with herself and how she feels she has failed as a mother.
Anne has 3 other children that all respond and react differently to Cold Vein. She is also married. This disorder put a ridiculous amount of pressure their relationship. They have their own ideas and views of how best to help Chloe and at times struggle to have a common front.
After many failed attempts of a cure and with Chloe being so close to death on many occasions, they find themselves in an eating clinic in Stockholm. The clinic goes against all treatment theories they have been using in Australia. This is their last battle. Their last chance at getting Chloe well.
I found this book heart wrenching, solemn, desperate and at times familiar. It is both devastating and uplifting.
I was in tears often.
It touches on suicide. It is an honest account of actions and feelings; and it made me so much more aware of the impacts of this cruel disorder.
This has been one of the best memoirs I have read in a long time and would highly recommend.