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Ravenous: A Food Lover's Journey from Obsession to Freedom Hardcover – February 1, 2011
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“Food as protection, comfort, pleasure, and love, a defense against deprivation, a buffer against pain—so many of us will recognize our insatiable hungers in Dayna Macy’s quest to understand her own. But the real appeal of Ravenous is Macy’s voice: her candor and humility, her curious mind and storyteller’s clarity, and the open, generous heart she brings to her tale of learning to find peace with her appetite and her body.”
— Kate Moses, author of Cakewalk
“Ravenous is among the most engaging, fun, and insightful books about appetite you’ll ever read. A wonderful mélange of memoir (what a family!), recipes (you can taste them), the exploration of food production (slow, local, artisanal, organic) topped off by uncommonly delicious writing.”
— Sue Halpern, author of Can’t Remember What I Forgot
“This rich, compelling book follows a woman’s search for balance, and ultimately, freedom, in her relationship to food. Macy’s writing is strong and beautiful, every page filled with risk and integrity. I truly loved Ravenous. It’s a real accomplishment.”
— Kim Chernin, author of In My Mother’s House
“Ravenous is the journey of a courageous, smart, beautiful woman who learned that there is no final answer—but that the inquiry itself, the work of being and growing and accepting, is the salve that heals the heart. Macy’s writing is the perfect blend of humor, irony, and wit. Her warmth and earnestness is so lovable that I found myself rooting for her all along. I couldn’t put it down!”
— Stephanie Snyder, yoga instructor and creator of Yoga for Strength and Toning
About the Author
Dayna Macy’s essays have appeared in Self, Salon, Yoga Journal, and other publications, and in several anthologies. For the last decade she has worked at Yoga Journal as Communications Director, and now also as the Managing Editor for International Editions. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband, the writer Scott Rosenberg, and their two sons.
Top customer reviews
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That's the objective summary of the book. Here were my subjective reactions while reading: She's a good writer, and her style is warm and comfortable. She was honest and forthcoming, yet left some things to keep me wondering (and that's ok). Without lecturing, she gave gentle reminders of how to be more mindful and attentive to eating. Wheter or not I'm a compulsive eater, I would have enjoyed her book because her writing was so pleasurable and the topic of food is universal.
As much as I liked reading it, I'm finding in the week since finishing that the lovely patience she exuded has come back to me at every meal. It's like a good friend sitting with me, and quietly pointing out that I deserve to be more aware while eating. And, as a result, I've enjoyed my meals more, felt more appreciative, and eaten more appropriately. What a gift. Thank you, Dayna.
At the heart of this work, however, is the voice of a woman,Dayna Macy, who struggles to understand her uncomfortable love/hare relationship with food. It had been her comfort after she drove her father to the hospital when he was struck with a heart attack. So much else in her life is put of whack as well. Her brother's lack of mental stability. Her parents' fights and chaotic marriage.
So Macy eats - and eats more and more over time. All the high-fat foods she consumes not only add visible padding to her body but also help her feel safely padded from scary feelings and memories.
In an effort to stop the semi-conscious, never feeling totally full type of eating that fills her life, author Macy decides to visit farms, food producers,etc and to learn from them, perhaps even gaining a new, saner perspective. She wants to truly enjoy meals without losing control of her appetite.
In the process, Macy revisits her own, often painful, memories from childhood on, yearning to discover how and why eating became an overwhelming compulsion.
Okay, so maybe this sounds familiar...an overweight person who writes a memoir, possibly gains insight, changes his or her life,etc. I certainly don't mean to be glib but it is no secret that these types of books flood the market. I've bought my fair share of them.
Even after reading other books centered on overeatimg, Macy's book struck me as unique. The rhythm, flow, and liveliness of her style interspersed with nuggets of info about food purveyors held my interest. And I'm a sucker for books with recipes, although it can be a challenge to keep reading rather than take a break and whip up one of the recipes.
Ultimately, though, Macy's insights helped change my own attitude towards food, although my attitude (as for Macy) is "a work in progress."
I have never taken a yoga class and am glad that the Ms. Macy did not choose to make this another yoga self-help manual but a true memoir. She is not pushing an exact diet, an exact exercise program or particular food needed to buy to be a success. She is just telling how she took her personal journey. I saw many similarities to my own personal journey and her words gave comfort and consolation to this reader's heart.
Thank you Ms. Macy.
Job well done.
Her writing is absoutely the finest and makes her work of great value on multiple levels.