Some New Trend


I Don’t Know How She Does It :: Wintergirls by Carrie Rollwagen

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BOOK REVIEW :: BY CARRIE ROLLWAGEN

wintergirlsIn Laurie Halse Anderson’s book Wintergirls, Lia is struggling with anorexia and the death of her estranged best friend, Cassie, from bulimia.

Wintergirls could easily have been a cautionary tale about how eating disorders are bad. It could have slipped into social commentary about the media’s cult of skinny. It could have relied on facts and scare tactics instead of on story.

But it doesn’t.

Anderson somehow creates a compelling plot that includes details of anorexia and bulimia that don’t become how-to’s. She creates believable characters that are at times sympathetic, at times revolting, but never pathetic. She uses absolutely beautiful language without romanticizing these horrific diseases.

And she makes it look easy. The subject matter is heavy, but the writing is invariably smooth and well-crafted. Even the ending is satisfying but doesn’t wrap everything up so neatly that it denies the gravity of the subject.

Although Wintergirls is useful for getting some insight into eating disorders, it’s really about isolation, loneliness, and growing up, themes we can all relate to. It’s a good story, and it’s well written, and books like that are (I think) always worth reading.

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