So, for a terribly short book Jackie Morse Kessler’s Hunger really packs a hell of a punch.
The first in a series, Hunger follows the life of adolescent Lisabeth (Lisa) as she deals with Anorexia. Lisa thinks she’s too fat. She hears voices. She fades in and out of reality. She tries to kill herself.
Enter Death. Death – for the record – is Kurt Cobain. Interesting.
Death offers an alternative. He offers the position of Famine, which Lisa accepts without really thinking about the cost. The remainder of the book follows Lisa as she plays witness to some very horrible things… some very horrible true things.
The tale is haunting, and bleak, and Kessler doesn’t sugarcoat any of it. The reader explores Anorexia with Lisa as she experiences every horrible symptom.. every effect… every awful truth. Added to this is a very vivid portrait of her friend, Tammy, suffering from Bulimia. I have a pretty rock hard stomach and even I was squigged out by the physical descriptions of eating disorders. Gut wrenching doesn’t quite cover it. Plus the tragedy of watching millions suffer from world hunger… Yeah, it’s rather bleak, and discouraging.
This is a very important book for young readers to discover. It’s not pretty. It’s not easy, but it is one of those book that will lurk in the back of your mind long after you have shut the cover. I am very impressed with Kessler. I will be reading more. 5 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –