Title: The Food of Love
Author: Amanda Prowse
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
I am really happy to be an extra stop on the blog tour for this novel, which I enjoyed so much! Read on to see what I thought…
A loving mother. A perfect family. A shock wave that could shatter everything.
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.
Amanda Prowse is an author I’ve heard a lot about but somehow I’ve never actually read any novels by her – until now. I hugely enjoyed The Food of Love; it was such a brilliant, thought-provoking novel that both terrified and completely absorbed me, making me want to read on even when there were some truly difficult parts to comprehend.
Focusing on the Braithwaite family’s struggle as the youngest daughter, Lexi, is diagnosed with anorexia, we experience the ups and downs with them all, from the time ‘before’, when everything was normal – or at least as far as the parents Freya and Lockie knew – and charting the demise of Lexi as she becomes more and more ill with this terrible mental health condition. They really seem like a ‘normal’ family, and Amanda Prowse presents everything in a really realistic, exaggerated way (or as far as I can tell, anyway, as someone who isn’t particularly experienced about this condition). Obviously anorexia is a condition that can be varying degrees of severity but in Lexi’s case, as someone who is very very ill, this novel showed how horrendous this illness really is -and potentially fatal.
Amanda Prowse enables the reader to really see how this affects everyone, not just Lexi – the whole family suffers and I felt for them all so much. I can’t even begin to imagine how awful it must be trying to cope with this in your family, and I hope with all my heart that I never have to. I felt frustrated with both Freya and Lockie at points, and with Lexi too, but ultimately everyone has different ways of dealing with things.
The Food of Love is written so well, with some scenes that horrified me and others where I felt the hopes of Freya, Lockie and Charlotte (their other daughter) with them. This made it a truly powerful book which stayed with me long after I finished it – what a great read!