MY NAME IS CAROLINE by Caroline Adams Miller


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The cloying, somewhat undercooked, but still (one supposes) nutrient-packed confessions of a recovering compulsive overeater and bulimic, by a young Harvard graduate who never lets you forget it for a page. Caroline's grim-ish story begins in one of two places, depending on how you view the psychology of such things: at a Howard Johnson's dining table at the age of eight, when her powerful, affluent, thin father instructs a waitress to serve the milkshake to the ""heavy"" (and shocked and humiliated) one; or in a girls' bathroom at the elite National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., where 15-year-old Caroline learns from two other fast-track girls how to purge the humiliation of overweight: eat everything in sight and then throw up. The next years, according to Caroline, are a nightmare of bulimic binging and purging, of shoplifting huge amounts of food and quickly retiring to bathrooms to vomit it all up; of self-loathing and daily compulsion. Somehow, though, Caroline also manages to corner the D.C. and Harvard markets on swimming honors, gains early admission to Harvard, graduates magna cum laude in English, marries a brilliant member of the varsity football team, now a corporate lawyer, and becomes a P.R.V.P. at age 23; so life couldn't have been that bad, could it? Caroline says it was, and continued to be until she found A.A.-inspired Overeaters Anonymous, a 12-step program that saved her life, her marriage, her job, and her self-image, and whose wisdom and advice falls most of the latter half of these pages. Miller's narrative style is amateur high-dramatic and sometimes annoying, as when she interrupts an account of her husband's grand mal epileptic seizure for a heartbeat-by-heartbeat recital of her own surprise, dismay, trepidation. And whatever else Overeaters Anonymous has done for Miller, it didn't cure her snobbery. Still, an important, affirmative book for overeaters who've lost hope of a cure.

Pub Date: Feb. 9th, 1987
ISBN: 0595129129
Publisher: Doubleday