Laura Freeman - The Reading Cure - Orion Publishing Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £16.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781474604642
    • Publication date:22 Feb 2018
  • Downloadable audio file £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9781409182450
    • Publication date:22 Feb 2018

The Reading Cure

How Books Restored My Appetite

By Laura Freeman

  • E-Book
  • £P.O.R.

A luminous memoir about recovery and how one woman discovered an appetite for food and life through reading

At the age of fourteen, Laura Freeman was diagnosed with anorexia. She had seized the one aspect of her life that she seemed able to control, and struck different foods from her diet one by one until she was starving. But even at her lowest point, the one appetite she never lost was her love of reading.

As Laura battled her anorexia, she gradually re-discovered how to enjoy food - and life more broadly - through literature. Plum puddings and pottles of fruit in Dickens gave her courage to try new dishes; the wounded Robert Graves' appreciation of a pair of greengages changed the way she thought about plenty and choice; Virginia Woolf's painterly descriptions of bread, blackberries and biscuits were infinitely tempting. Book by book, meal by meal, Laura developed an appetite and discovered an entire library of reasons to live.

The Reading Cure is a beautiful, inspiring account of hunger and happiness, about addiction, obsession and recovery, and about the way literature and food can restore appetite and renew hope.

Biographical Notes

Laura Freeman writes for the Spectator, The Times, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, TLS, Evening Standard and Apollo. She was shortlisted for Features Writer of the Year at the 2014 British Press Awards. She read history of art at Cambridge, graduating with a double first in 2010. The Reading Cure is her first book.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781474604666
  • Publication date: 22 Feb 2018
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: W&N
[A] beautifully written hybrid of memoir and literary criticism... This book is about the anguish of anorexia, written by a bookworm unfurling her wings as a writer of considerable power. — Cathy Rentzenbrink, TIMES
A miraculous memoir ... Anyone who has encountered anorexia, either first hand or in someone they love, will recognise this harrowing yet heartening portrait. The Reading Cure is a book for the bookish, for those hungry for self-knowledge, or for those who are just hungry. — Daniel Johnson, STANDPOINT
In its subtle, undogmatic way, The Reading Cure is a tale of joy winning against piety, and the triumph of life over death... both a stimulating argument for the power of fiction as a force for personal change and a wise memoir of anorexia. Moreover, it is never pat, always intelligent, full of enthusiasm, and almost entirely free of self-pity. — Craig Brown, MAIL ON SUNDAY
Enchanting and original... an illuminating and highly engaging way to think about all kinds of literature. — Amanda Craig
Gentle in its tone and astute in its insights, the book is a treat... [and provides] sound evidence for the ability of literature to affect life. — Ada Coghen, LITERARY REVIEW
The most moving, most evocative book. — Sophia Money-Coutts, THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman is devastatingly close to the bone for anyone who has had an eating disorder and knows its power to warp the mind. Gripping, moving, healing, mouthwatering. — Ysenda Maxtone Graham
You might not expect a book on anorexia to be a joy to read, yet somehow this is. Laura Freeman is unflinchingly honest about the loneliness and misery of suffering from an eating disorder: the desperate calculations over 'an inch of almond milk', the 'shivering hunger'. But her pleasure in the food of literature - from sweets in Harry Potter to roast goose in Charles Dickens - is infectious. The Reading Cure will speak to anyone who has ever felt pain and found solace in a book. There are no easy epiphanies here, but you are cheering Freeman on, page by page, as she slowly recovers her appetite, both for double-cheese toasties and for life. — Bee Wilson
This book seems to have had the most unanimously glowing reviews of 2018 so far. Quite rightly: Freeman's wonderfully uplifting book is all about how she rediscovered the joy of food, and overcame her anorexia, by escaping into the fictional worlds of Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf. — SUNDAY TIMES STYLE
The Reading Cure is a painful exploration of anorexia but also a love letter to the healing power of books written with expert care, talent... and hope. — Francesca Brown, EMERALD STREET
Freeman's writing throughout is beautiful and bountiful; her descriptions of food are full of flavour and temptation; her journey to wellness an inspiring one. — Lucy Pearson, THE LITERARY EDIT
This stirring autobiography by Laura Freeman looks set to be a key release. — IRISH INDEPENDENT
Inspiring and illuminating. — CULTURE FLY
[An] honest, beautifully written account. — Eithne Farry, PSYCHOLOGIES
Do read this book, whether or not you've been afflicted or affected by mental illness. Read it as a book-lover; read it to read with fresh eyes - or sharpened tastebuds; read it for fellow-feeling and hard-won wisdom, and for the sheer joy of taking pleasure in good things. — CORNFLOWER BOOKS
What strikes you most about this remarkable memoir is its joyous absorption in literature in general, and food-writing in particular. It is lyrical, exuberant, optimistic and engaging. — Patricia Craig, IRISH TIMES
Hers is a story of salvation and picnics, ravioli and freedom, Dickens and survival. Laura's recovery is testament to the power of literature, the love of a concerned family and the tenacity of a woman on a mission. — Kate Leaver, THE POOL
Lyrically written, raw and honest, this inspiring book truthfully describes an ongoing struggle with inner demons but celebrates those hard-won achievements with grace and gladness as books and their invaluable lessons restored Laura's appetite for life. — Eithne Farry, S MAGAZINE
Shines like a beacon — Jake Kerridge, DAILY TELEGRAPH
Clear-eyed, ambrosial, impassioned, bountiful... The Reading Cure is the work of a true-blue bibliophile, and it's impossible not to be seduced by Freeman's love of prose. It's essential reading not just for those who love food, but words. Come dine with her. — Tanya Sweeney, IRISH INDEPENDENT
An extraordinary account of mental illness captured in all its vivid, perplexing extremity. — SUNDAY BUSINESS POST