Erica Rivera is a young mother with a secret– anorexia. In her memoir Insatiable, she reveals the intricacies and pain the voice she calls Ana uses to manipulate her mind and actions. She married and became a mother at a young age in an attempt to keep the man she loved from being deported– but what she didn’t know was that these life changes would trigger the eating disorder she battled in her early years. What started as an attempt to lose the baby weight and get healthy went too far– desires to be a good mother were slashed out by her need to run ten miles a day, and desires to be a good wife were turned upside down by her need to restrict her food intake as much as possible.
Structure: This is normally where I’d talk about “plot,” but I feel a little weird using the term to describe a memoir, as it’s an actual account of someone’s life. So instead I’ll talk about the memoir’s structure. This was the ultimate fall of the novel– time went back and forth in a way that confused me and, like many memoirs of eating disorders, 98% of the book talks about the experience of the eating disorder and 2% discusses recovery in a way that is rushed and stuck in at the very end.
Writing: The writing of this memoir was absolutely phenomenal– not incredibly surprising, as Rivera is a writer by trade. But each sentence, each word seemed to be carefully selected to amplify the reader’s experience in the book. She did a phenomenal job of truly expressing emotion– I felt what she felt, I understood the voice in her head and why it caused her to do the things she did. I was captivated by the writing, even though I felt the structure was flawed.
A beautiful memoir detailing a harrowing battle with anorexia.