Saving Sara

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A book review of Saving Sara: A Memoir of Food Addiction by Sara Somers

A book review of Saving Sara: A Memoir of Food Addiction by Sara Somers

Stars: ****

She Writes Press (2020)
261 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: For nearly fifty years, Sara Somers suffered from untreated food addiction. In this brutally honest and intimate memoir, Somers offers readers an inside view of a food addict’s mind, showcasing her experiences of obsessive cravings, compulsivity, and powerlessness regarding food.

Saving Sara chronicles Somers’s addiction from childhood to adulthood, beginning with abnormal eating as a nine-year-old. As her addiction progresses in young adulthood, she becomes isolated, masking her shame and self-hatred with drugs and alcohol. Time and again, she rationalizes why this time will be different, only to have her physical cravings lead to ever-worse binges, to see her promises of doing things differently next time broken, and to experience the amnesia that she—like every addict—experiences when her obsession sets in again.

Even after Somers is introduced to the solution that will eventually end up saving her, the strength of her addiction won’t allow her to accept her disease. Twenty-six more years pass until she finally crawls on hands and knees back to that solution, and learns to live life on life’s terms. A raw account of Somers’s decades-long journey, Saving Sara underscores the challenges faced by food addicts of any age—and the hope that exists for them all.

Saving Sara

I overeat sometimes so I thought I was an overeater but after reading Sara’s book I can clearly see that I do NOT have a food addiction. I overindulge and sometimes I eat when I’m not hungry but this is clearly not the same thing.

Sara bares all. She didn’t just suffer for say 10 years and then overcome her addiction in a few more. She suffered for 50+ years, started and stopped multiple “fixes” many times over and even though she is eating better, she still has to follow strict rules so she doesn’t start overeating again.

Many times during the story I was shocked at how bad it had gotten for her. At the beginning, I will be honest and say I felt like she just lacked willpower and wasn’t trying but I’m sorry to say that now because after reading more, I realized that’s not what it was at all. Food addiction isn’t just a silly term like when someone says they are addicted but just mean they like something a lot. Food addiction is a REAL addiction. I know that now. If you doubt that it’s true, you should read this book.

I’m very proud of Sara, even though I don’t personally know her, for opening up and sharing her most intimate thoughts and behaviours.

There is a fair amount of support out there now a days for food addiction but when Sara was young, in the 1950s and even as a teenager or young adult 20 years later, food addiction wasn’t a known problem. People just judged those addicted to food and called it a lack of willpower.

The book shows many, many times over that she had lots of willpower. She travelled the world many times over, even living in other places. Sara held various jobs and was able to abstain from alcohol and drugs when she felt it was important to. She was blind to her problem, as was the world.

Saving Sara is a must read for any food addict or anyone who loves a food addict and doesn’t understand how they can’t just get over it.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.