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ss triple helix - summer 2013,  A New Name

A New Name

Grace and healing for anorexia
Emma Scrivener

IVP, 2012
£7.99 Pb 176pp
ISBN 9781844745869

A beautifully written autobiographical account, this book lifts the lid on the inner turmoil of anorexia in a manner which is highly illuminating and frankly terrifying. With great honesty Emma tells of her pressing desire to 'fit in' and the overwhelming quest for control which takes hold of her. An insidious start becomes an unstoppable juggernaut.

Anorexia becomes a religion promising freedom: fat is the unforgiveable sin, salvation comes through a relentless pursuit of diet and exercise. It is a gospel of works which leads to slavery and self destruction. Will recovery come through re-feeding and trying to be 'a good girl'? Where does God fit in? There are no trite answers. An easy but uncomfortable read, this book deals with the physical, emotional and spiritual issues with which Emma wrestled, and the breakthrough which came with the discovery that God was so much bigger.

Not every point will be transferable to each individual with anorexia, but many will. She deals with the inevitable trauma which the whole family face when one member has an eating disorder. Obsessive behaviour, to which anorexia is often linked, is also mentioned. I highly recommend this book.

Maggy Spence is a part-time GP in Chelmsford.

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