Letting Ana Go

Synopsis:

She was a good girl from a good family, with everything she could want or need. But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded her. Like she couldn’t do anything to make a change.

But there was one thing she could control completely: how much she ate. The less she ate, the better—stronger—she felt.

But it’s a dangerous game, and there is such a thing as going too far…

Her innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary she left behind.


The Phoenix’s Perspective

There’s something to be said about the proverbial “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes.”  You may not always be able to actually do that, but to hear someone’s story and relive it through their words can sometimes take you closer than you ever imagined.

Letting Ana Go is written in the same vein as Go Ask Alice, Lucy in the Sky and Jay’s Journal.  It gives a first person account of someone’s downward spiral and the attempts to climb out of the hole.  Having read the other books, I prepared myself for a harrowing tale of how drugs and bad choices have damaged someone’s life.

Well, this time the drug of choice was starvation.  The story starts off with a perfectly healthy athletic young lady who slowly begins to diet at the advice of a friend and doesn’t stop until it is too late.  Due to the diary format, Letting Ana Go is a quick read.  Even so, the message is not lost.  Anorexia is about control – trying to create order in your life when other things have spun too much out of your control.

As a teacher, I’ve been to many seminars and read many articles about spotting the signs of anorexia. I don’t think anything has ever prepared me as this book has. It really gives you a look into the mind of someone suffering from this disease.  It makes you see that anorexia is not about “not being pretty enough.”  The root of the problem is something else – a trigger that makes you need the control. Just like drug addiction and alcoholism, anorexia cannot be cured. You have to always be vigilant because there can always be a trigger to make you need the control again.

Letting Ana Go is an amazing portrayal of how important it is to love yourself. If you don’t, not even the love of everyone around you can change the hurtful words your mind has told you to believe.


Would I add it to the library?
Yes! I cannot even put into words how moving and insightful a story like this is. It opens your eyes to your own life and shows you how important it is to find your own triggers.  I hope there are more written in the future.

 

Genre: Fiction – substance abuse, eating disorders, emotional problems
ISBN: 9781442472136
Rating:  good

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