Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Book Review: A Future for Tomorrow by Haley Hatch Freeman

Status: Thoughtful
Song: "Arcus" by Amythestium

A few weeks ago I was asked to participate in a blog tour for a non-fiction book, A Future for Tomorrow by Haley Hatch Freeman. I was happy to agree, but when the book arrived I hesitated a little to start reading it. A Future for Tomorrow is the true story of the author’s struggles with Anorexia, the eating disorder that very nearly killed her. It is a story that I think should be shared, but it is often painful to read. Sometimes I had to put it down and go do other things, just because I was caught up too emotionally.

I am grateful that I’ve never suffered from an eating disorder, although as a dance major for a few years in college, I regularly met with faculty who were concerned about eating disorders among dancers. And I have had girls close to me suffer with anorexia. Fortunately, none of them lost weight to the point of the author, but it was frightening nonetheless.

As an author myself, I know how scary it is to bare pieces of your soul to whatever stranger reads your book. I must commend Haley Hatch Freeman for her courage in laying open her heart and soul to her readers. She doesn’t hold back, and on every page you can feel her desire to help others through her own experience. She even includes pictures in the back of the book so that others can see her close to her lowest point of under 100 pounds, and how much better she looks after recovery.

The messages of hope, and how Haley leaned on her faith and what she knew of the Savior are uplifting and priceless. But perhaps what I most appreciate about the book is the insight I now have into the mindset of an eating disorder. I have been told that eating disorders are usually not about food, but about other issues like control and self-esteem. Through this book, you really begin to see what that means. I truly think that Haley’s honest sharing of how she viewed food—what she thought and felt in association with it—will be invaluable knowledge for me, even though I do not struggle with the disease.

Sometime in the future, I may need to lean on my new understanding with some girl. And I have no doubt that many more girls than we realize will struggle with this, especially with a society so obsessed with a beauty that isn’t even really attainable, because it isn’t real. (Click here for a rant on that subject.) Armed with more knowledge, I feel more prepared to keep an eye out with my own daughter. For that, I want to thank Haley Hatch Freeman.

A Future For Tomorrow is a book I would highly recommend to parents, youth leaders, teachers, and teenagers themselves. It is very much an LDS book, but I would give it to others not of the LDS faith in a heartbeat, because of the in-depth look into the eating disorder.

You can find out more about Haley Hatch Freeman and A Future for Tomorrow (and even buy an autographed copy. How great is that?!) at her blog or her website. You can also order the book at Amazon (but it won't be signed).

1 comment:

Haley Hatch Freeman said...

Thank you for taking the time to review my book. I am glad that I was able to give you insight on this devastating illness.

For your blog viewers: my book is now also at Deseret book in the self improvement section as well as deseretbook.com

Thank you again for this great review!