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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Bern's Bookcase: Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins

4.5 Stars for this sensitive, compassionate and emotional read on body image, eating disorders, self-worth and ultimately self-love and acceptance. 



"Life was kind and full of chances. Sometimes we didn't take them. Sometimes we hid our truth and acted out of fear. Sometimes we turned away and closed the door." 

For me, Kristan Higgin's Good Luck with That was an emotional read. Georgia, Marley & Emerson met at Camp Cooperbrook in their teens. This wasn't your typical summer camp - it was a weight loss camp. These three friends struggled with their weight throughout their lives and all the physical and emotional issues that go with that. 

Higgins did not shy away from difficult topics here. She tackled body image, eating disorders, obesity and was honest and frank about the mental and physical health issues that play a role in them. Each of these women battled her own "demons" so to speak as they struggled with their weight. It was difficult not to identify with them in some way. I don't know anyone who hasn't looked in the mirror at some point and was plagued by insecurities, self-doubt and a litany of self-criticism. 

The bulk of the book involves Marley and Georgia in the wake of Emerson's death due to obesity related health issues. Through Emerson's journal entries we get a peek at how she ended up morbidly obese and it was heart wrenching. It was too late for Emerson to make changes in her life, but she didn't want the same ending for her two best friends. So on her deathbed, Emerson gives Marley and Georgia a letter to be read after her funeral. Enclosed is a "Things We'll Do When We're Skinny" list they made during their final summer at Camp Cooperbrook. Emerson's dying wish is that her friends promise to complete this list. Why? They didn't see the point but because they had made a promise, they agree to try to see it through. 

The list ends up being a life changing experience for Marley and Georgia. As they cross off items, they face fears, make peace with their pasts, learn to trust and love themselves and ultimately find that ever elusive feeling of self-acceptance. 

"Good luck, I imagined the universe saying kindly, infusing the phrase with gentleness and faith. Good luck with everything."

For a book that was definitely emotionally heavy in what it covered, it left me feeling both positive and hopeful. Thank you Kristin Higgins for writing and sharing this compelling and emotional read.

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