#BlogTour! #Review of The Food Of Love by @MrsAmandaProwse @MrSimeonProwse

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Wow, last year I was reading Amanda’s books, I never thought I would be personally asked to take part in her blog tour. But I was (thank you Mr & Mrs Prowse), and this post can only mean one thing….today it’s TWG’S stop on the tour!! Before I start making a speech about how thrilled I am to be involved, forgetting that my blog isn’t an award ceremony (shocking), let’s get on with the review shall we?

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Blurb.

Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Nineteen years of marriage to a man who still warms her soul and two beautiful teenage daughters to show for it: confident Charlotte and thoughtful Lexi. Her home is filled with love and laughter.

But when Lexi’s struggles with weight take control of her life, everything Freya once took for granted falls apart, leaving the whole family with a sense of helplessness that can only be confronted with understanding, unity and, above all, love.

In this compelling and heart-wrenching new work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse, one ordinary family tackles unexpected difficulties and discovers that love can find its way through life’s darkest moments.

What does TWG think?

This is probably one of the hardest reviews I have ever needed to write. Not because of who the review is for, but because of contents of the storyline.

In the blink of an eye, Freya’s vision of a perfect life shatters right in front of her. Relationships that she thought were honest and open, turn out to be closed and tainted. Children who she thought were happy and glowing, were actually sad and spiralling out of control. Freya has a big decision to make; fight…or flee?

I had a slight feeling that I would maybe shed a tear or two throughout the book, I completely underestimated my feelings. I didn’t shed a tear or two; I sobbed my little heart out. Why? Because I was Lexi. Just like Lexi, I spent most of my life battling with the number on the scales and seeing food as a negative substance. I had to keep pausing as I read this book to ensure that I had digested every single emotion.

‘The Food Of Love’ is not a book to rush read. It is not a book that will give you self-help or tips on how to cope with anorexia, especially given the fact that each character, just like every person, will respond to situations differently. It’s a book which highlights the complexity surrounding anorexia, bulimia and mental illness. I found it very hard to read Lockie’s feelings on anorexia as they were so brutal! Don’t get me wrong, I understand that some people might not believe anorexia to be a ‘real thing’, or can’t work out how hard it is for the sufferer to do what everyone else classes ‘easy’. But, having had Lockie’s words shouted at my face multiple times by people who couldn’t understand, it was really cutting.

Like other Amanda Prowse books, ‘The Food Of Love’ contains moments that will leave you thinking the worst, wondering what’s going to happen as tears fall down your face. After I read the book, I went nosing at other reviews elsewhere; I’ll be honest, the content of them shocked me as they were insulting the mental illness overall. Amanda obviously did her research on the topic, especially given the fact that I felt as though I was reading a story of my life due to Lexi’s struggles. Every emotion Lexi let out, I felt. Every negative comment towards herself, I said the same. But there is a difference between going through it yourself, and reading it in black and white, it hits home dramatically.

My heart went out to Freya and Charlotte as well. Freya was trying to be a mum to her very poorly daughter and was often torn over whether to be a mum or remove her emotions from the situation. Now that is a tough decision for ANY parent as all we want to do is keep our children safe, but we aren’t in their heads are we? The family’s devastation cut straight through the storyline in multiple ways, it was incredibly hard to watch a family fall apart with no understanding on how to pick it all back up again, with no guarantee that the pieces would glue back together either.

Yes, I found this book exceptionally harrowing and difficult to read. BUT, if someone finds this topic easy to read, I want to know why. Amanda has written the entire storyline with incredible realism and power; the topic is real, the emotions were real and she has captured them all beautifully. Amanda hasn’t touched upon the subject with a feather duster; lightly. She touched upon the subject with fire, poignancy and true grit; and for that, I applaud her. I applaud her for helping to highlight an illness that gets laughed at and is surrounded by a truck load of stigma. I applaud her for capturing my heart and soul (yet again), with such powerful writing.

‘The Food Of Love’ made me cry, a lot. It made me smile. It made me laugh. Most importantly, it made me feel as though I am no longer weird for having anorexia. Thank you to Amanda Prowse for writing the words us sufferers couldn’t even say, let alone write. Thank you for writing such a heart-wrenching yet beautiful book that captured my heart and soul almost immediately. You have completely outdone yourself with this book, I need to hug you now.

Thank you Mr & Mrs Prowse.

The Food Of Love by Amanda Prowse is available to buy in multiple formats NOW from Amazon UK, I highly recommend it. Just ensure you have tissues with you.

Make sure you keep following the blog tour for ‘The Food Of Love’ as there are a lot more fabulous blogs coming up! The picture below is just HALF of the bloggers that are involved in the tour, I am humbled to be one of them.

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Influenced by a book, TWG lets loose with her thoughts.. #honestpost #awareness #bullying

I need to type. I need to try and free my mind from whatever seems to be constricting it right now. I have no idea what that may be. All I know is that my mind feels trapped..
I have just finished reading a book that reopened many of my wounds, although to be honest, I’m not too sure that they were even fully closed. Throughout this post, the book title, author and overall information of it will remain anonymous. No, it’s not because I thought the book was rubbish, or any other negative views at all. The book was brilliant yet incredibly harrowing; yet I need to keep my thoughts of the book in my head for now.

I have been through many, many things in my life already. Most of which I have pretty much glazed over, acted like things are ‘fine’ and believed that my feelings and experiences aren’t worthy of peoples time…because others believe them not to be. How do you ever come back from that though? Being stuck in a place you have been made to feel as though it is the right place to be, yet all along it is wrong, and you have now lost the chance of breaking free.

When I was a little girl I used to be so afraid of growing up, yet I would dream of wearing sparkly clothes, having long, flawless hair and walking with such swagger and confidence. From the time I was a little girl to the time I became an adult, a lot of things changed. Innocence was lost and my dream of wearing sparkly clothes and walked with swagger, became no more. Instead, I just saw…black. There was no sparkle and no swagger. Instead, there was fear and trying to find my own way of surviving through the black times. Some people may use that moment to try and shine or to fight back, yet others may decide to think of everything as….FINE.
‘Are you okay?’ Yeah, I’m FINE.
‘Nothing on your mind?’ No, I’m FINE.
‘You look grumpy…’ I’m not, i’m just…FINE.

Instantly, you’ve lured yourself into a sense of false security. You know deep down that you’re not fine, but seeing as ‘fine’ seems to be your most favourable word, you tend to believe it.

The book that has influenced my thoughts tonight, has given me a real kick up the booty. It has made me realise that I need to learn to talk. I need to learn to talk about MY deepest and darkest feelings without feeling guilty. I need to realise that my feelings are just as important as JimBob’s across the road, or Phoebe’s in Central Perk…

Whilst it is extremely easy to realise those things, it is even harder to put them into practice, especially when you’re surrounded by people that seem to think that is okay to downplay your feelings and take away YOUR moment to express what you feel is important. Nobody has the right to do that, EVER. It is NOT theirs to take. Jodi Picoult made an extremely valid point (one of many) at her event recently. She was talking about what you should and shouldn’t say to a person of colour, and I also believe that those things should be taken into consideration with multiple other situations too. Jodi said that when you’re in a conversation with another person who is talking about their concerns, what you do NOT say is ‘ah I know someone with X Y & Z too’, or ‘that happened to me too’. Why? Because you then downplay their moment and cast it aside like it is of no importance, all because Clementine over the road is the same.

Whilst typing this waffle, it has made me realise even more so that I need to say F………….YOU to a lot of things and a lot of people, and say HIYAAAAAAAA to myself and my daughter. I can do it for her, I just don’t know how to do it for myself.

Maybe one day I will find the confidence to talk about situations that haunt me to this day, one that is even more important after reading that book. I will never rid myself of that situation completely, well, hardly a situation as such. All I know is, my experience of it may help others. If I can’t do it for myself, I will do it for them….whoever they are…it may even be you.

Over and out.
TWG.