Countless - Karen Gregory
Reading Challenge Category: A book by a local author
When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn't believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don't add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She's even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time …
I chose this author for the reading challenge ‘a book by a local author’ as she lives in Wiltshire. I have no idea where but that was good enough for me as I’m in Swindon, Wiltshire. However, I’m only here for another couple of weeks, and then I’m moving to a different county so I thought I’d best get a move on and get this book read. I was thrilled to find a local author that wrote what looked like ‘readable’ and interesting books. I’m so glad I wasn’t wrong, this was a brilliant and captivating read. I have read a few books that centred around anorexia before, and they certainly don’t get any easier to read. They are most definitely hard-hitting, and this is no exception. We meet 17-year-old Hadda, who appears to be functioning somewhat well after having been in an Ana unit. Her life is still controlled by the disease that she has personified into someone called Nia. However, her world gets turned upside down when she finds out she is pregnant. She decides for the duration of her pregnancy that she needs to do what is best for her baby. This goes against everything that is natural to her and ignores Nia. I loved the blossoming relationship between her and Robin; it was just what she needed and fit in perfectly to the story. I was gutted the route it went through, but he was perfectly placed to help her through a tough time, and then his absence was also need to catalyst her proper start to recovery. She needed to hit rock bottom before she could start to work her way back up again. The end made me cry. The book is beautifully written, and you really feel Hedda’s frustrations, emotions and hardships coming off the page. I am so glad I stumbled across this author for this reading challenge. I may never have discovered her otherwise. I will certainly be adding her to my author list and reading some of her other work when I get the chance. This is a brilliantly impassioned and moving story about an illness that is so alien to some of us but so familiar to others.