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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Thin, and I: A Memoir is written by Andrijka O. Keller. Keller was fifteen years old when her parents and the school nurse decided that she should go into a rehabilitation program. Her grades were above normal, and her attitudes about school were just fine. Keller, however, was one of the millions of Americans who had an eating disorder. Her father’s discomfort at the idea of a rehab stint was apparent; somehow he had personally failed by producing a daughter who was bulimic. Her mom was supportive but worried. Keller knew she had it all under control. She had successfully lost the weight that had tormented her in grammar school. Being tall and weighing 200 pounds, combined with the braces and thick glasses, meant her fourth-grade self was a prime target for bullies and other mean kids. Even the teachers seemed to overlook her in favor of the pretty girls and the athletic superstars. So Keller made friends with ED, her eating disorder, whom she visualized as a debonair man of business complete with Armani suit and Hermes briefcase. He was her coach, her motivation, her cheering squad. Rehab? ED whispered that they were out to destroy their relationship, but Keller was quite sure they could hold firm against any and all forces.
Andrijka O. Keller’s Thin, and I: A Memoir is an eloquent and moving account of the author’s teen years battling an eating disorder and a medical institution determined to keep her on a cocktail of mind-numbing prescription drugs. Keller’s story is a riveting one. Her descriptions of her time spent in rehab are fascinating, as are the stories she tells about the other patients who came to be her family while she was in treatment. I was stunned and horrified to read about the easy and standard diagnosis of depression she was given and the constant push of her doctors to have her take an increasing number of drugs, and I applauded her decision to protect herself in response. Keller’s a superb writer; one who took a story that could possibly have a limited audience and made it into a memoir with broad appeal. Her writing style is conversational, and her gift for seeing past the persona and perceiving the real people she shares with her readers is impressive indeed. Anyone who’s had food issues will undoubtedly benefit from reading this work, as well as anyone who’s been on the receiving end of the magical potions prescribed by Big Pharma, and the doctors who support it. Thin, and I: A Memoir is most highly recommended.