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Publisher's Summary

Clare Dunkle seemed to have an ideal life - two beautiful, high-achieving teenage daughters, a loving husband, and a satisfying and successful career as a children's book novelist. But it's when you let down your guard that the ax falls. Just after one daughter successfully conquered her depression, another daughter developed a life-threatening eating disorder.

Copublished with Elena Vanishing, the memoir of her daughter, this is the story - told in brave, beautifully written, and unflinchingly honest prose - of one family's fight against a deadly disease from an often ignored but important perspective: the mother of the anorexic.

©2015 Clare B. Dunkle (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Hope and Other Luxuries

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Best of two

This and her daughters book Elena vanishing make up the best eating disorder books I've ever read and I've read nearly all of them. This book duo is fabulous thank u

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Good to hear a parent's perspective.

I did however find the narration really depressing. Whilst it is a somber subject, I really found it difficult to listen to due to the narrator's speaking tone.

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  • Susie
  • 17-09-2015

Potent and Real

This was written as a companion book to Dunkle and her daughter, Elena's memoir, "Elena Vanishing." While "Elena Vanishing" brings you inside anorexia and gives voice to the struggle, Clare's story shows all the ways that a mental illness in the family affects everyone else.

Clare talks about the tension's and troubles beneath what looks like an ideal life, and also her process as a writer. It's fascinating to listen to her take the chaotic threads of real life, choose a voice and weave a narrative.

This is perfect listening for anyone who has been affected by anorexia, but even if you haven't, Dunkle is generous with her feelings and inner life. Dealing with a loved one's illness is terribly painful, you are powerless to make them try and to cure them yourself, so you have to find ways to help them and help yourself. Listening to Dunkle, you hear that she gets that.

Abby Craden gives a powerful performance letting through the vulnerability and the determination that live in Dunkle's character and making each voice for the rest of the family distinct and consistent.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Samantha Kanabay
  • 01-01-2019

loved it!

the way Clare writes is beautiful and touching. I could quote this book for days ❤️

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley Sawyer
  • 07-02-2018

Great book!

I enjoyed this book a lot. I thought it was very interesting to listen to a mother’s perspective about daughter’s eating disorder. Clare has been through so much in her life and I believe she has made the best out of what she has. This is a great book for anyone who has interest in eating disorders or mental health and it’s relation to family structure!

2 people found this helpful

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  • The Mays
  • 21-07-2017

Haunting and beautifully written

Clare B. Dunkle is a beautiful writer. This book is very hard to listen to because of the pain she went through trying to save Elena, her daughter who suffers from anorexia nervosa. Clare writes about her coping mechanisms, her writing career and her need to create order and make plans. She explains the torment of not knowing if her daughter is going to die, the turmoil it causes her and her family and the strength she and Elena both show. As a parent , it's heart breaking at times and sweet at times, but so well written.
Abby Craven did an incredible job narrating. Her lyrical voice was like music, a painfully beautiful song of a mother who would do anything for her daughter.
Happy listening!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Emily
  • 22-11-2018

Excellent literature, but be careful...

Beautiful work that is hard to stop listening too, yet somehow hard to finish. A lot of us with mental health issues might start getting more depressed ourselves knowing how horrible depression affects our loved ones. So proceed with caution. I have to say I kind of rolled my eyes a bit when things would get so "off track" into the author's storytelling - at first, but then I just realized that's how she paints a narrative and how she coped with her own trauma at the time. Very fascinating, eye openning book that you can get lost in to some extent.

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  • Yvonne
  • 11-03-2016

Couldn't stop listening!

This story grabbed me from the start.
Clare's honesty and Mother's heart runs deep in this story. I've told so many people about this book.

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  • Leah
  • 23-10-2015

Very interesting to know the other side.

What made the experience of listening to Hope and Other Luxuries the most enjoyable?

That no matter how the mother viewed her daughter's experiences, she could not get into the center of her being, thereby leaving her on the outside and coming to her own conclusions and having to fight the battle on the information she got from her own perceptions of all that her daughter was hiding from her.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Hope and Other Luxuries?

When her daughter began to completely come clean with her. When she was filling in the gaps, and explaining her actions, or inactions. It had to have been a huge relief to have the answers to all of the frustrating events when she hadn't previously known that she either had no explanations, or wrong explanations.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Abby Craden?

I would although I didn't care for her flat tone. I speak much the same and don't care for my own.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The other side of the spectrum-of the domino effect.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Laura
  • 01-05-2020

Wonderful listen!!!

Great book that brings the listener into the life of the eating disorder and how it is affecting the narrator, mom, and her daughter, but also all members of the family unit. Good read/listen for families and professionals to gain new insight!

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  • Maureen
  • 26-01-2020

Eh, okay

It was more writer fantasy than ED story. If you’re looking for an ED Story, read Eliana Vanishing.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-10-2017

Drawn out...

The true story of her daughters is not even discussed until a fair portion of the way into the book. It felt like a lot of rambling nonsense that went nowhere. I kept hoping it would get better, but by chapter 20 I just called it quits. I don't usually give up on books....

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