By Nancy Tucker
Published by Icon Books (26 March 2015)
When Nancy Tucker was eight years old, her class had to write about what they wanted in life. She thought, and thought, and then, though she didn't know why, she wrote: 'I want to be thin.' Over the next twelve years, she developed anorexia nervosa, was hospitalised, and finally swung the other way towards bulimia nervosa. She left school, rejoined school; went in and out of therapy; ebbed in and out of life. From the bleak reality of a body breaking down to the electric mental highs of starvation, hers has been a life held in thrall by food.
The Time In Between is certainly not light reading. It's an honest account of how a young girl decides that she wants to be thin at the age of eight. She embarks on a mission that leads her into anorexia and then bulimia over the following 12 years.
Nancy Tucker was a very bright child, striving to be perfect in every possible way. Yet despite her early academic achievements, she felt that she disappeared into the background - and believed that being perfect physically too would enable her to shine. As she spurns food, her health begins to suffer and then spirals completely out of control. Unfortunately there's no solution or happy ending. And Nancy is left with the ultimate decision - to live or not to live.
This is a graphic and often upsetting look at how eating disorders have a major, and tragic, impact on people's lives (as well as their families). Yet it's written with sensitivity and gentle humour by Nancy herself, and is certainly a fascinating read. Nancy wasn't influenced by the media, or pictures of models, but simply thought that being thin would make her stand out from the crowd, as well as make her happy. Sadly Nancy had to discover the truth the hard way.
I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.