Wintergirls (Laurie Halse Anderson)In this sombre tale on the tragedy of eating disorders, Lia struggles with the crushing isolation of her anorexia, distance from her family and the guilt and confusion that comes after a friend dies of bulimia.
Lia’s estranged best friend, Cassie, dies of complications of bulimia after leaving 33 messages on Lia’s mobile phone asking for help. Lia is left struggling with guilt over her choice to ignore the calls, and also the secret knowledge that she was sabotaging Cassie’s quest to recover from bulimia.
Lia’s self-hatred is such that she absolutely can’t and won’t listen to the voice inside telling her to eat. She also struggles with family, both wanting to make them happy but fighting against the anorexia telling her to hide her true self and remain independent. Beneath the disturbing narrative that documents the erosion of Lia’s life from anorexia, the moral of listening to your true voice, speaking of your troubles, and seeking help and connection with those who love you, comes through strong.