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Purge: Rehab Diaries Paperback – Bargain Price, April 1, 2009
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Nicole Johns offers unvarnished, unromanticized memoir in 'Purge: Rehab Diaries'
— by Amy Goetzman, MinnPost.com, July 8th, 2009
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
While anyone who's read any other first-person accounts of eating disorders, or lived with one, will find much that's familiar here--stuffing one's feelings with food, trauma, body dismoprhia--there are several things different about Johns' story. She isn't a stick-thin anorexic, but rather a woman who's a size 9, who struggles with being at the upper end of the weight scale in the clinic. Yet by constantly purging (making herself vomit), she's wound up in the hospital and suffers from heart problems and had a concussion, along with other medical issues that will be with her for a long time, if not forever. She's also bisexual, though that isn't presented as a factor in her diagnosis; in fact, it's treated, refreshingly, as a nonissue, and seems to be a given to Johns.
When she writes things like, "My body has lost its integrity," it's something many, many women can relate to. Yet this is not a self-help book or one with a moral lesson per se. Johns is not holding herself up as an example, and in fact alludes to the danger of doing so when she writes that Marya Hornbacher's memoir Wasted is considered an "eating disorder bible" to many women suffering from eating disorders, and was banned from the treatment facility she attended.Read more ›
The book starts with an introduction by Nicole Johns in which she references Wasted by Marya Hornbacher. I wasn't sure how to take this: on one hand, she just referenced my favorite memoir and probably the most intense book out there that deals with the subject of eating disorders. On the other hand, I didn't want Purge to be a wannabe-Wasted. Turns out I didn't have to worry.
The book takes place during Johns' days of recovery in an eating disorder clinic. Not only does she take the reader through the hectic life of a person with EDNOS, she also takes them through the long hard road to recovery. The style has sort of a journal-like feel to it. (This is reflected by the first chapter which contains selected entry from Johns' diary.) This made the book feel a bit more personal, which is one of the things that made this book very powerful. A few chapters after the first were written in second person which I found a little bit annoying, but I won't sit here and complain about something as trivial as that.
The book really gets going when Nicole is checked into the clinic. We meet the other residents, as well as the staff, and we're all set to get familiar with the treatment from the moment of arrival. (I knew before that rehab centers had very strict rules--I didn't know the extent until I read this book. Some of the rules just seemed completely random; I would never have thought of half the policies and procedures Johns describes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Anyone suffering, or knows someone suffering, from an eating disorder might enjoy this book. I'm about halfway through it myself now and have enjoyed reading the shared struggle... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Beth
This book is written in a style very similar to Girl Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen. It's not a linear story, but more a collection of memories of her 3 month stay in an eating... Read morePublished 19 months ago by jessicass
this memoire seemed to tell the story of ED treatment in a far too casual way. The writer didn't go through near what others do, she wasn't nearly as ill and treatment only one... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Amy M. Loro
This is a raw, unflinchingly honest account of the mindset of a women struggling with comming to terms with her recovery. Read morePublished on July 22, 2014 by jazi vogt
I read this book within 3 days and am now reading it again. It really shows you what its like.Published on May 16, 2014 by Sheila W.
Simply put, I liked it. It was a fast read, and as I have heard from others, it reads similarly to Girl Interrupted. Read morePublished on February 10, 2014 by Coleen Lewis
Nicole John's book Purge: Rehab Diaries was one of th more honest books I've read about eating disorders. Read morePublished on May 2, 2013 by Marie