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Honest account, but. . .
on August 5, 2005
In this honest and harrowing memoir, Judith Moore talks about her childhood and adulthood as a "fat girl". It IS honest. It IS disturbing. It IS well-written.
Then, what was my problem with it? Maybe the problem I had is that there is no resolution within the author. At the end of the book, she doesn't learn to accept herself. She doesn't learn to love herself. She doesn't accept her obesity and she doesn't lose the weight, either. She doesn't learn to love herself and still writes with self-loathing. Does this make the book less worthwhile, then? No. Does this mean that only authors that come to self-acceptance at the end of their story be recommended? Not exactly. She has a story to tell. You might want to read it. But, it's definitely disturbing.
I know Judith Moore has had a fairly successful life, but you wouldn't know it from reading this book. Maybe that's one of the issues I have with this account. She writes with a detachment and flat affect. And, it's almost the same sentence over and over again. Her detachment itself COULD be powerful but it lacks something. There is no epiphany. THere is no self-kindness. There is no PASSION for anything. There is her story. There is no passion for her husband or her children. There are no lights in the darkness. Her flat retelling of her childhood and adulthood make her seem as if she's also very very dull, whether or not that is really the case.
I really recommend "Passing for Thin" by Frances Kuffel. Frances Kuffel retells her similar childhood and eating compulsion while also telling what that did to her as an adult. What struck me when reading that book is that she tells us how she lacks certain skills as an adult that most of us just gain during childhood and adolescence. For instance, she never learned to flirt playfully because she was never treated as an attractive girl. She had no idea how to act as an adult now that people treated her with respect when they didn't during her fatter days. She had to relearn things the rest of us take for granted. She SHARED with us what it's REALLY like to be treated with the disdain many obese people suffer. Although Frances' book was wonderful, it was these kind of specific details that really stayed with me and enabled me to feel empathy and compassion towards her. Judith Moore, on the other hand, writes with absolutely ZERO humor and almost ZERO emotion. I understand that this technique could have been very powerful and I also hesitate criticizing her for it, because it's so honest.
So, I guess I am trying to say that yes, Judith Moore may be a very interesting person with a lot of depth. I don't think that came across in this book, though. And, because of that, I wouldn't recommend it.