Friday, April 1, 2011

Unbearable Lightness Discussion

Ok, it's that time! What did everyone think of Unbearable Lightness?


  1. I liked Unbearable Lightness and I did finish it :)

    There were great things about it. It was written in a very raw and real manner which I liked. I am also completely enthralled by eating disorders so it was a very interesting subject for me.

    I am not sure anyone else felt this way, but Portia did a lot of talking about the actual act of Anorexia and Bulimia. It almost felt like she was giving a play by play of how to have a successful eating disorder. I personally would have loved to see more about her recovery period, realizations about life and how she finally changed the chatter in her brain.

    I wanted to feel happy for her recovery but it seems like she was still beating herself up a bit at the end of the book.

    Overall, I did like Unbearable Lightness. I would lend it out, but I don't think I would read it again.

    Did anyone else feel this way?

  2. I thought the book was well written but was very, very depressing. It put me into a bit of a funk after reading it so I agree with you Jennifer, more about her recovery would have been an uplifting end to the book rather than just a short wrap-up. I felt like she was skipping the recovery maybe because she did it while she was with an ex??

    I have a close friend who was hospitalized for this issue and can say her thinking was very similar to what Portia's was. Something that I just don't get but try to understand as best I can.

    It was a good book but I wouldn't read it again, way too dark for me to handle twice!

  3. This is not a book that I would typically pick up on my own which is why I love book clubs. I thought this was a real gem. I agree that the content was a bit disturbing but found it so interesting to see the pressure of being thin in this industry. It certainly didn't seem the staff of Ally McBeal were supportive yet I remember watching this show and not even noticing myself her decline in weight.

    I have recommended this book to a few of my friends. The message I convey to others is how in the end, instead of managing calories, she tends to savour her food and not deny what her body is craving. This does not mean overindulging but taking that moment to enjoy what you are eating.

    There are very few books that I reread and this is not one of them. But I do keep the ones that I love to this one will be staying on my book shelf :)

  4. Augh! I typed a really long post about my thoughts on this book. Went to post it and something didn't go right and it was lost. I could cry. Not sure I can type it all out again!

    Overall, I liked the book. I found it strangely inspriring but like everyone else thought it was dark and disturbing. I was taken back by her sheer willpower to eat so very few calories and what it must take in your mind to "function" like that! Something I could not wrap my brain around, that's for sure. The part about counting the calories from the gum stood out the most for me. I am a self-proclaimed Gum-A-Holic and never once have thought about how many calories. I'm just glad to be chewing on gum and not an icecream sundae!!

    I would not re-read this book however I have told a few friends about it.

    Please let this post THIS time. Fingers crossed. :)

  5. Ha I agree with you Kiddo! This was a reccurent thought of mine too....seriously how can you function on so little calories/food? If I don't eat for an hour I get all woozy and light headed. She really didn't get into that. She just seemed to adjust to whatever goal she set for herself. I would have passed out the first day she went to 300 calories/day.

  6. Like Jennifer, I loved how raw and honest this book was. Reading it felt like I had sat down for a long cup of coffee with her to chat about her experiences. I really connected with her as I agree with her assessment that most women have body issues of some form or another, and that we really haven't created a culture which allows girls to grow up feeling ok about their body. I completely understand what it's like to automatically compare my figure with the women around me without even meaning too.

    She does an amazing job with showing how complex body image issues and eating disorders (or any sort of compulsive, addictive behaviours) are. It wasn't just about being skinny, her issues were so tightly wrapped up in her dealing with her sexuality and identity as well.

    It was a very emotional and difficult read which she balances quite well with the overall tone.

    I agree more on her recovery would have been nice but I don't believe this book was about that for her. Writing the book was likely part of her ongoing recovery.

    I loved the use of photos as she was getting her diagnosis even though it broke my heart seeing such an extreme transformation. As sad as the book was, I thought it had a lovely ending.

    I have already recommended this book to many of my female friends.