Meg Haston. Paperweight. Hot Key Books/Five Mile Press, 2 July 2015, 240pp., $16.95 (pbk), ISBN 9781471404566
Paperweight punches above its weight in terms of bringing home the realities of time in a treatment centre for people with disordered eating issues. That’s probably because author Meg Haston lived this experience and is now a mental health counsellor. It’s a beautifully written book, and tells it like it is; without a hint of judgement or sermons anywhere in its pages. The marketing material lists its ingredients as 40% grief, 20% denial, 20% anger and 20% hope, and that break down is spot on.
Main character Stevie is wrestling with some very difficult emotional issues as well as her eating disorder, and has a plan to end her life. She starts out resolute, but gradually her resolve wavers and she starts reaching out for help. What is truly interesting is how she lets her ‘Shrink’ slowly into her world, excruciatingly, bit-by-bit. The way this relationship is written clearly comes from personal experience. I highly recommend this book. Suitable for age 12+ (provided those younger than 14 are on the mature end of the scale).
Reviewed by Jane Carstens