When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life.
She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia.
But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time …
Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted.
What I Thought:
This was the November book in the personalised Willoughby Book Club YA subscription I was given for my birthday and was yet another winner!
First impressions had me in love with the cover – the simple colours against the stark white is really eye-catching, and the words in the droplets immediately had me itching to open the cover and find out more.
Now, when I opened this, I hadn’t successfully read a book since The Definition Of Us. Everything else I’d tried, had been abandoned after a chapter or two because I just couldn’t focus, so I went in with very low expectations for success.
I couldn’t put it down.
Written from Hedda’s perspective, the story was immediately engaging, and you are drawn into her world of counting everything. Steps, calories, days, distance.
Her anorexia battle has been ongoing for a few years by the time we meet her and it is a heart-wrenching journey being in her head as she swings from feeling like it is an unavoidable part of her, to something she thinks she can get through.
The experience of discovering a pregnancy quite late on, and getting your head around it, is one I am fairly familiar with (Hi Tori!) and it felt honest and accurate on that front. It also contains the most accurate birth scene I’ve ever read – in terms of her emotions and feelings and thoughts.
I don’t want to say too much about the rest of the story, because a lot of the emotional impact is in watching it all unfold, however the journey Hedda goes on, the people she meets, and the relationships she builds – and breaks – are a sweeping rollercoaster, all with the dizzying backdrop of her eating disorder.
It is a story full of hope, that will also break your heart, and I really recommend it. Even if you’re in a reading slump!
My Rating: 5/5*
Linking up with Read With Me over on Mama Mummy Mum: