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Feeding Eden: The Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family Hardcover – March 6, 2012

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Feeding Eden: The Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family + How to Manage Your Child's Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Practical Tips for Everyday Life + The Bugabees: Friends With Food Allergies
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Susan Weissman gives a powerful, candid account of her family's struggle to adapt-and thrive-in the face of her young son's life-threatening food allergies. But her insights aren't limited those coping with allergies; Feeding Eden will resonate deeply with people facing many different kinds of challenges.”--Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project

“Susan Weissman has produced a remarkable, clear-eyed account of the difficulties of raising a child with severe allergies into something humane and beautiful. Feeding Eden is an honest, hopeful book, coming at a propitious moment in our complicated lives of food and family.”--Natalie Goldberg, author of Writing Down the Bones and The Great Failure

“Susan Weissman tells a gripping story of her son Eden's struggles with food allergies. Feeding Eden is not only a beautifully written personal tale, but also a sharp-eyed and harrowing exploration of all the misunderstandings that face those to whom food itself - the very stuff of life - is toxic.”--Amanda Hesser, co-founder of FOOD52.com

“Stark, lyrical, and often funny, Susan Weissman leads the reader on a mother's epic journey to raise a severely allergic son in a nutty world. Even if you don't have kids, Feeding Eden will grab you on the first page and never let you go.”--Robert Wilder, author of Daddy Needs A Drink
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; First Edition edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402781229
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402781223
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,166,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was an English teacher long before I was a mother, but children changed my life in ways I hadn't foreseen. My son Eden was seriously allergic to seven of the "Big 8" food allergens. So I devoted myself to learning about this vexing modern epidemic. I began narrating my family's food allergy journey to support the food allergy community and to unpack the universal experiences of food and family: I began as a blogger and then I wrote my memoir, Feeding Eden: the Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family. I continue my advocacy and writing at SusanWeissman.com, Huffington Post, Psychology Today and various publications.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By NewYorker on March 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The more I read of "Feeding Eden," the more I wondered why it hadn't been written before. I don't have a child with food allergies, but the topic is endlessly fascinating. Imagine walking through life attempting to protect your child from a fatal reaction...to foods that are healthy for (nearly) everyone else. The book ends up being a really fabulous analysis of Mother Fear, that dark stalker of moms of even healthy children. The first chapter is about the ridiculousness of trying not to be made crazy living with the risks. Weissman writes: "When I try to tout my sanity to teachers and friends--'Oh, I try not to get too crazy'--Crazy laughs its ass off in the corner."

It takes a certain amount of strength for *any* parent to get out of bed in the morning, wondering if today is the day you look away for just a split second at the wrong moment. Weissman is at her best when she's bringing these truths to light.

So this is a book for all mothers, but it will have special resonance for the parents of food allergic children. For those parents, the book will become required reading. Through Weissman's self deprecating (and funny) prose, she will show you how to forgive youself for your worries, for your insecurities and for your woes.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Dairy Free without Drama on July 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I was very hopeful for a book that would open up the world to the experience of living with a child with a severe food allergy...mainly because people just don't get it. While there were portions that I could identify with, the text seemed more focused on the author's drama. It was exhausting to read, and the author came off more as being led around by the nose than thinking and being an assertive part of her child's diagnosis and care. While I sympathize, as I have to live this life myself, I don't think there was much help for families with new diagnoses (or suspicions of allergies).

Additionally, it was very base and foul in language and analogy. Not very grown up. Sad that it was a miss, since the topic/perspective could have been so powerful - it's an important topic. I am unable to recommend it at all.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jon Reiner on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Feeding Eden's harrowing portrayal of the agony and terror of food allergies and other lethal autoimmune conditions is made fuller by the author's equally compelling telling of the central parental conflict that binds her to her poor son's suffering. Susan Weissman's role as a parent is complicated to a degree few of us could imagine by the food triggers of Eden's illnesses - intensifying the usual parental food and nutritional concerns to a constant, unyielding life-or-death struggle of hygiene, awareness, logistics, circumstances and madding mystery. Eden's condition results in a physical and mental journey that few would navigate and endure with the tireless dedication and resolve Weissman demonstrates in her richly detailed and deeply researched book. Weissman writes with an endearing and candid narrative voice that makes this timely and timeless story an excellent read as well as a thought-provoking meditation on food, health, Western and Eastern medicine, marriage, parenting and, ultimately, the power of love to triumph over fear and despair. -- Jon Reiner, James Beard Foundation Award-winning author of The Man Who Couldn't Eat The Man Who Couldn't Eat
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By SCM on January 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Privileged woman with multi-food allergic child feels guilt, shame, and consults with both professionals and quacks about same.

One star because I finished it, even after she claimed a healer in another state dealt with her non-allergic child's eating issues.

One more because I came away grateful that my daughter only has one food allergy (I'm the one with the laundry list).

Not recommended if you like science.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Planet Mom on March 19, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Feeding Eden is about an epic journey through the dark and tangled wood of parenting a child with life-threatening food allergies. That said, Weissman shares her compelling story with great courage and candor (and amazingly, humor!), inviting readers onto the page and into her palpable world. A must-read for every educator, child-care professional and parent on the planet.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Shoe Fan on August 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Thank you so much for this book! I was so inspired by it to seek out a new and better allergist for my daughter and the results were amazing! We now have a MUCH less restrictive lifestyle and diet for her, plus I'm not living every moment out of the house in constant fear! It feels so cheesy saying this, but this book really did change our lives!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By cfmartin on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book's title and subtitle, Feeding Eden: The Trials and Triumphs of a Food Allergy Family, may not quite do the story justice. It's less about "feeding" than it is about "nurturing," and a more apt sub-title might be "A Mother's Story." The book is unique in that it is a memoir from the mother's perspective. Susan captures raw emotion, writing about her own vulnerabilities and what it feels like to be a parent raising a child with food allergies.

While the book does contain some discussion of food, and food trials, and food handling, and food allergy diagnosis, it's not really about the food or the food allergies. It's about what it feels like to be a parent with a child whose illness can't be pinpointed. It's about spending more time in doctor's office and waiting rooms than your own home. It's about exploring the best way to help your child - and the questioning and self-doubt that comes along with every decision we make. It's about selecting treatments and finding that not everything - or every doctor - works for you. It's about being paralyzed by the fear of doing the wrong thing while at the same time being propelled by the need to take action.

Throughout the book Susan shares the challenges that she and her husband faced while making choices for Eden - some that worked and others that didn't. She shares the challenges of dealing with other (possibly related) medical and developmental issues at the same time. But she portrays her choices as personal. She never claims to have the answer. She never judges.

This is a highly recommended read for all parents.
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