The Time In Between

The Time in Between: A Memoir of Hunger and Hope

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

When Nancy Tucker was eight years old, her class had to write about what they wanted in life. She thought, and thought, and then, though she didn’t know why, she wrote: ‘I want to be thin.’

Over the next twelve years, she developed anorexia nervosa, was hospitalised, and finally swung the other way towards bulimia nervosa. She left school, rejoined school; went in and out of therapy; ebbed in and out of life. From the bleak reality of a body breaking down to the electric mental highs of starvation, hers has been a life held in thrall by food.

Told with remarkable insight, dark humour and acute intelligence, The Time in Between is a profound, important window into the workings of an unquiet mind – a Wasted for the 21st century.

Thoughts:

My reviews are usually published in the order that I’ve read them in, but after reading this profound memoir, I had to push this review in front of the rest that are drafted, because I just had to get my feelings out there. I feel like I want to encourage readers to discover this amazingly insightful book.

The Time In Between is a memoir of a young girl’s experience of an eating disorder. It’s an incredibly touching memoir, which doesn’t shy away from the feelings that Nancy was feeling. Nancy knew she was being cold and manipulative and affecting relationships within her family, but the Voice that controlled her eating disorder could not prevent her from acting this way. I really appreciated how real this memoir is. Nancy never mentions numbers. She doesn’t intend to trigger anyone suffering from an eating disorder. She doesn’t believe that is helpful for others to have numbers to compare themselves to. Nancy knows this from reading such a range of material on eating disorders which plainly recalled weight.

Nancy Tucker has been battling with an eating disorder which started with anorexia and swung completely the other way to bulimia. It started as young as eight years old, when she wrote at school that she wanted ‘to be thin’. It completely spiralled from there into an eating disorder that consumed her life. Nancy spent most of her adolescence in and out of therapy, she had constant doctors appointments including C.A.M.H.S (Child and Adolescence Mental Health Service), she had experience of being an inpatient, she left school, she rejoined school and all throughout her battle with her eating disorder she still strived to be her version of Perfect. She obtained fantastic grades and managed to fool those around her into thinking that she was still eating, when in fact she was starving herself, listening to that voice that told her she wasn’t good enough.

This might not sound like the easiest book to read. It’s certainly not. You won’t find a picture perfect ending all wrapped up into neat pieces, but what you will find is an incredibly messy journey to recovery. That to me, is real. I really appreciated it.

I also really enjoyed how Nancy experimented with different forms of narration. There are playscripts (influenced by her father’s job as a director), ‘self-help’ sarcastic advice for parents (which allude to Nancy’s experience that anything her parents did weren’t right), letters to anorexia and diary entries.

I’m not sure if I would highly recommend this book to those suffering from an eating disorder right now, but it’s definitely a book to keep in mind. As I mentioned, it doesn’t include any numbers so that won’t be a trigger. The book’s main focus is the complex emotions involved with an eating disorder. It’s incredibly readable and gives you an intelligent insight into the mind of someone with an eating disorder.

Here is a fantastic interview with Nancy Tucker where she discusses The Time In Between. Thanks to Jess from Curiouser and Curiouser for bringing this interview to my attention.

Would I recommend it?:
Without a doubt!

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4 thoughts on “The Time In Between

  1. I’ve read books that feature eating disorders before, but I have never read a memoir before and from what you have said this one sounds so so real I know immediately it would be a hard but powerful book to read. I’m definitely going to add to it my list and will hopefully get a chance to check it out at some point in the near future.

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