In Body I Trust, by Lauren Dow
'Beyond the darker sides of the human psyche explored in the book, it remains a story of hope, a promise that there is light at the end of the tunnel'
In Body I Trust is one of these books that touch your soul. It’s relatable and real, told in a way that’s beautiful in its simplicity and yet highly effective.
The book, which is based on Lauren Dow’s own life story, follows Amelia day-to-day struggles with an all-consuming eating disorder and depression.
I loved the direct insights we get into Amelia’s mind and thought process. I loved how raw her stream-of-consciousness retellings of her daily challenges are. I loved that we’re told everything exactly as it is, rough and unembellished. If you’re after a book that simplifies and romanticises the difficulties of overcoming such difficult and life-altering issues, then this is not the book for you.
There are some incredibly hard scenes in this book, some that are bound to make the reader uncomfortable, if only because they’re so well written and made to feel so realistic. It’s a book that kept my stomach in knots and had me in tears on more than one occasion—in the best kind of way. That discomfort is a testament to how poignant and how impeccably told the story is.
‘A story that needs to be told’, says the quote on the front cover—I couldn’t’ agree more. It’s a tale that needs to be read and shared, so that others in similar situations can feel heard, too, and know that there is a way forward.
In fact, that’s my favourite thing about this book: that it made me feel acknowledged. It speaks to the complex ramifications of living with body image issues and deteriorating mental health. My guess is that it’ll make anyone who’s ever gone through something like this feel seen, and it’ll help anyone who’s known someone who has able to better understand. In this day and age, where more light is shone on mental health awareness and the realities of living with those issues, this book is incredibly relevant.
Beyond the darker sides of the human psyche explored in the book, it remains a story of hope, a promise that there is light at the end of the tunnel. An absolute must read.
*Trigger warnings: eating disorder, depression, suicide*