Hope and Other Luxuries

  • by Clare B. Dunkle
  • Narrated by Abby Craden
  • 22 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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.
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- Susie

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!
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- The Mays

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-19-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios