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The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It Paperback – June 28, 2005


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The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It + Breaking Free from Emotional Eating + Why Weight? A Guide to Ending Compulsive Eating
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400083192
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400083190
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Roth’s 1991 bestseller, When Food is Love, analyzed the connection between compulsive eating and intimacy, and all of her subsequent books dealt with eating issues as well, but in this stellar memoir cum self-help book, she broadens her scope to address the larger issues of love, trust and family. Roth’s witty and self-deprecating personality comes across on every page as she recounts how the adoption of a cat changed her life, allowing her to open up, as well as to accept and give love. A decade of yo-yo dieting—she gained and lost over 1,000 pounds—had left Roth lonely and broken, with little faith in the existence of loving relationships ("Why love someone who is just going to turn around and either leave or die?" she wondered). Her cat, Blanche, was the first creature to break through her defenses, and her boyfriend (now her husband), Matt, was the next. Aside from some recurring panic attacks, everything went along swimmingly, until Roth’s father was diagnosed with cancer and she was forced to confront the dark veins of deception that had always been present in their seemingly golden relationship. Roth narrates her journey in short, engrossing chapters, and also helps readers help themselves by splicing in tidbits about the psychology of attachment and the rewards of spiritual exploration. Readers who love cats will eat up every adoring word Roth writes about Blanche, and fans of Anne Lamott-style writing will line up for this book, but its real value lies in its sharp dissection of child-parent relationships.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“A totally brilliant book—beautiful and fierce and sweet and, at times, very funny. I was utterly blown away.” —Anne Lamott, author of Operating Instructions

“Wise, loving, tough, and tender. A beautiful book. Geneen knows how to nourish the heart!” —Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart

“Read it, laugh with it, and become a little more of a human being.” —Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul and Dark Nights of the Soul

“Roth takes us on a deep, joyful, provocative, and ultimately nourishing journey. I couldn’t put it down from beginning to end.” —Justine Willis Toms, New Dimensions Radio, coauthor of True Work

Customer Reviews

This was a great book and an easy read.
C. A. Johnston
Through Geneen's example, we learn that we can rewrite our stories to better serve us as adults, so that we can flourish in our relationships and in life.
Ebook Coach
Laugh out loud funny, yet deep, moving with elements of awakening woven throughout.
Ocean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ebook Coach on June 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I wrote this review for my enewsletter ([ ... ])

I guess it was no accident that I read Geneen Roth's new
book on the way to visit my dad. "The Craggy Hole in My
Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It" captured my heart, as all
of her books have.

This book, however, is not about emotional eating per se,
but rather about the emotions and the stories that can
drive the eating.

No matter what role food plays in our lives, it is inextricably
linked to our desire for love and acceptance . . . and you
usually don't need 6 degrees of separation to get there.

Geneen addresses these issues better than anyone I
know. She has lived her life untangling them and teaching
the rest of us how to do the same.

For example, in regard to her fear of her beloved cat's
death:

"It occurs to me that I can spend the rest of my life (and
his) in low-level panic, or I can take a leap into the
suffering, and make friends with fear, pain and sorrow. It is

the same juncture I reached with food, when I realized I
could keep being frightened of going off the diet and eating
so much I'd end up weighing a thousand pounds, or I could
stop dieting and discover if there was a bottom to my
hunger."

Again and again Geneen lays it all on the line - this book
is fresh, vulnerable, edgy and funny. In it, she confronts
the honest, raw truth of her life, of her relationships . . . and
takes us all along for the ride.

And what a ride it is!

Geneen tells us the story of how she sold her soul for the
love of her father, how she learned to love (with 20-lb. cat,
Mr. Blanche in tow), to BE loved and to confront the truth.
Read more ›
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rosie on April 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I am not a cat person or a dog person, so when a friend told me I had to read this book, I was willing to pick it up, but a bit wary.The title is way too sentimental for this incredibly deep, brilliant, laugh and cry out-loud book. From the first page, I was hooked--and I never put the book down. Once I finished it, I started it again. Like all of Geneen's books, you have the feeling that she is talking right to you, about you, about your life, your family, your friends, your feelings. One more thing: this is not a book about animals. If you have ever loved anyone, if you have ever lost or are afraid of losing anyone, you will kiss the ground at having found this book.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 6, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Okay, I admit it: I'll pick up almost any book with the word "cat" or "dog" on the cover. I'd never read Geneen Roth before, and I didn't expect to like this book very much. But this book won me over the way Blanche won over the author: slowly and subtly.
Roth was in a position to be a great cat-owner. She lived in a city with access to alternative veterinary medicine as well as cat therapists, groomers and more. So when Blanche entered her life, Roth's love spilled over. And it couldn't happen to a nicer cat.
I must admit I turned the pages a little faster when Roth panicked about losing her cat. Blanche is tougher than he looks, I wanted to say.
Many people will find parallels with Roth's family in their own lives -- or their friends' lives. Roth tells the story movingly, but matter-of-factly, without self-pity.
But Blanche remains the hero of this book and Roth's life. Perhaps the most telling passage comes when she writes that, "Blanche is like food once was -- he doesn't talk back, he doesn't hit, he doesn't go away...also, and I think this is important, he doesn't have any calories."
Blanche really does fill a hole in the author's heart but, unlike food, Blanche helps Roth grow and accept new relationships. Roth acquires not only a husband but also a dog. And she takes on a spiritual teacher, distinguished from a therapist in one of the best sections of the book. A therapist, says Roth, helps you heal the damage from what was done to you. A teacher helps you heal from the way you reacted to what was done to you.
The perfect gift for a sensitive cat lover. Then again, what true cat person isn't sensitive?
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I fully expected Geneen Roth's book to be moving and interesting - as are all of her books. But this book took me to new places. As the father of an adult daughter, the book brought me to a completely unexpected place of love and compassion for my child. Through her deep and personal disclosure, Ms. Roth has informed my own relationship - the need for honesty and transparency, interpersonal integrity, and, above all, extreme sensitivity to my child's needs and view of me. This book should be required reading for all men.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Readergurl on November 27, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have never read a book that hit me SO hard, and touched me so deeply. What most reviewers have already said, is how i feel, but i really need to express it again here.I have only read Geneen Roth in Prevention, but i cant wait to read more of her. I am overweight, a pet-lover (more dogs than cats), and have suffered the loss of both parents. The book is so beautifully written, and i felt like she was speaking FOR ME. I cried so much, that was the only problem! I cried early on in the book and it only got worse, to the end were i was sobbing til i couldnt breathe...but i really needed to let that emotion out, and for me that alone makes the book so special.If you have an eating disorder, love animals, have suffered loss, or just love a wonderful, moving story, buy this book. As another reviewer said, i will never get rid of it. I plan to re-read the ending, "the words of Blanche," many more times. We all need to be reminded about love, and that we're all worthy of it.
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More About the Author

Geneen Roth is the author of the bestseller, When Food is Love and seven other books. She has conducted workshops for over thirty years and has lead retreats for the past ten.

Roth is a frequent contributor to many publications including Salon.com, Huffington Post and Good Housekeeping and has appeared on numerous national shows from Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America, and The View, to Primetime Live and NPR's Talk of the Nation.

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The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It
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