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The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant
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The Passion of Alice (edition 1995)

by Stephanie Grant

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1041116,035 (3.35)10
Member:rainpebble
Title:The Passion of Alice
Authors:Stephanie Grant
Info:Houghton Mifflin Co (1995), Hardcover, 272 pages
Collections:Orange/Bailey's, Your library (inactive)
Rating:****
Tags:Orange L/L; 1996; library; hot review

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The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant

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The Passion of Alice by Stephanie Grant

This could be an important little book if you or a loved one suffers from an eating disorder. The protagonist, Alice, a 25 year old suffers from anorexia which her separated parents do not realize. They know but can't admit it until one day she suffers a heart attack. Then along with her doctors, they & she agree that she needs acute care and she goes into a rehab facility that works with addicts, alcoholics, persons with all types of disorders. They are separated by 'disease'.
Alice weighs just over 90 pounds and is 5 ft, 10 & 3/4 inches tall. While in the facility she meets girls suffering from bulimia as well as anorexia. She becomes acquaintances with a few of them and they go through their days having meals together, therapy groups together, exercise classes specifically based on their needs,etc. Alice is only allowed to do yoga, stretching, the warm up & cool down parts of the aerobics sessions and she is allowed to swim but not allowed to do laps. Their days are kept very full.
After a time she begins to eat her meals or part of them and eventually she edges over the 100 pound mark. One of her friends, Gwen who has been engaged for 10 years but has not married yet as she and her fiance want to have children. Her menses has stopped (as it does with most anorexics) and her fiance wants her to be stable before they wed. Anyway while Alice, Gwen and 2 other girls are taken on a supervised mall shopping trip Gwen collapses when she suffers a dramatic bone disintegration. A few days later she passes. Alice is devastated. She refuses to eat anything and her weight drops dramatically once again. They put her in the hospital there and tube or I.V. feed her. They weigh her in a hammock/sling like get up as they do not want her to know her weight. But the doctors are concerned as one cannot continue indefinitely being fed this way. The body is unable to process all the glucose. They put her on insulin to help her pancreas along. Every six hours they would check her blood and depending on her sugar levels, they would give her shots of insulin.
There is so much more to this small book than just the story of Alice's illness. There is the complicated story of her family life. The complicated story of an early friendship with a young man and the parting of their ways when they went off to Uni. The very complicated stories of her relationships with the other girls and workers at the rehab. One friendship in particular with one specific girl/woman on her floor. I found this friendship to be very fascinating and I can see this book one day becoming a Virago.
This one is written as a memoir and I liked the read very much and gave it 4 stars. I highly recommend it to those interested in the subject matter. I can see so easily why it ranked so well on the Orange Prize listing. ( )
6 vote rainpebble | Jan 14, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0553378619, Paperback)

Felled by a heart attack, a twenty-five-year-old anorexic finds herself in a clinic where she meets an array of oddballs and social misfits, including a rambunctious but tender woman who changes her life for the better. Reprint.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:49:38 -0400)

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