The Time In Between – A Memoir of Hunger and Hope

So for the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading a book.  This fact in itself isn’t overly blog-worthy news… I read a lot, I commute cumulatively for about 15 hours a week – if I didn’t I would go stir crazy.  And for the last week or so I have been absolutely enthralled with this book and I feel that it is definitely worth words.

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The Time in Between – A Memoir of Hunger and Hope details Nancy Tucker‘s battle with anorexia and bulimia.  This isn’t my usual reading, I tend to be geeky paranormal / sci-fi / fantasy girl.  I love books which capture loudly my thoughts and carry my mind to far away places, filling it with anything other than me.  The term ‘avoid’ is far too strong but I don’t go out seeking books which I suspect may hit nerves, because well… just that… they hit a nerve and poke at the bits of me best left un-poked.

So me and the unopened book had a stand-off.  The bright yellow novel stayed in my bag for the best part of a week, it would be there when I reached for my purse or checked my phone… being yellow and unopened.  I wanted to read it but I was also finding every excuse not to (which is very difficult to do for 15 hours) but I did finally open it and Nancy Tucker has my heart-felt gratitude.

This book took me on her journey, from the roots of her disease to the present day.  Through interactions with her thoughts, her relationship with friends, family and professionals.  It is heart-breaking, frank, brutal and honest.  I laughed and cried, at times I wanted to throw it across the room but Nancy’s un-sugar-coated imagery was simultaneous tender and darkly comic… and gentle, heart-felt and innocent.

Anorexia is written about starkly.  There is no wallowing, whining or glamour.  Nancy does not hide from her journey, nor make you read between the lines or make assumption.   She tells her story in capitalised letters, colours and descriptions which do not allow you hide from the truth or to cover your eyes… 

…after all, if any subject needs to be understood with uncovered eyes it’s mental health.

Nancy detailed her thoughts, all of them. Every insecurity, voice, hidden mouthful, every lie, every devious act – yet at no point did I feel anything but affection.  Her honesty built an unbreakable trust which allowed me to emotionally follow the ups and downs of her story.  One which is still being written.

This book took my breath-away, and although I found it equally wonderful and uncomfortable, I loved it completely.

“Recovery is refusing to continue to punish yourself for whatever heinous crime you never committed.”