Trigger warning: this book is about fighting an eating disorder.
A brutally honest memoir, Head Heart and Hipbones is an account of how the author battled against anorexia nervosa. It mainly takes place twenty years ago, when she was diagnosed with the disorder and ended up being admitted to hospital. However, at the end, she tells us that she is still fighting it. The outlet of writing has really helped her understand herself and her condition. Her book is an achievement to be proud of because the psychological aspects in particular are carefully considered.
Gillian was from a loving family and at the age of seventeen was looking forward to studying at college, but her need to control her diet was taking over everything until it was clear she needed help, as her life was in danger. The book follows the ups and downs of her journey, including long-term stays in hospital, where she formed bonds with the other women on the ward which helped her get through her time there. It’s such a well-written and clear-eyed account that I’ll always remember reading it and won’t hesitate to recommend it to readers who want an understanding of what it’s like to suffer from and be treated for anorexia. As there are many details about her thought processes at the time, wanting to be very thin and how she hid or restricted her food (for example), the book will not be suitable for absolutely everyone.
In summary, a courageous memoir that will have you rooting for Gillian.
Independently published in 2021.