The Craggy Hole in My Heart and the Cat Who Fixed It: Over the Edge and Back with My Dad, My Cat, and Me

Geneen Roth, Author Harmony $21 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4000-5083-3
Roth's 1991 bestseller, When Food is Love, analyzed the connection between compulsive eating and intimacy, and all of her subsequent books dealt with eating issues as well, but in this stellar memoir cum self-help book, she broadens her scope to address the larger issues of love, trust and family. Roth's witty and self-deprecating personality comes across on every page as she recounts how the adoption of a cat changed her life, allowing her to open up, as well as to accept and give love. A decade of yo-yo dieting--she gained and lost over 1,000 pounds--had left Roth lonely and broken, with little faith in the existence of loving relationships (""Why love someone who is just going to turn around and either leave or die?"" she wondered). Her cat, Blanche, was the first creature to break through her defenses, and her boyfriend (now her husband), Matt, was the next. Aside from some recurring panic attacks, everything went along swimmingly, until Roth's father was diagnosed with cancer and she was forced to confront the dark veins of deception that had always been present in their seemingly golden relationship. Roth narrates her journey in short, engrossing chapters, and also helps readers help themselves by splicing in tidbits about the psychology of attachment and the rewards of spiritual exploration. Readers who love cats will eat up every adoring word Roth writes about Blanche, and fans of Anne Lamott-style writing will line up for this book, but its real value lies in its sharp dissection of child-parent relationships.
Reviewed on: 06/01/2004
Release date: 06/01/2004
Paperback - 238 pages - 978-1-4000-8319-0
Open Ebook - 83 pages - 978-0-307-42192-0
Hardcover - 201 pages - 978-1-58724-771-2
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