Book Review: Faerie by Eisha Marjara
ashley | The cover of Faerie by Eisha Marjara seems very wild and carefree, almost hopeful, but I knew going into this it would be anything but a light and happy read. I picked this up entirely because it would be a difficult read focusing on the struggles of anorexia nervosa.
I really liked the first person voice here. Not only does it add a much more real and raw feel to the content, but it was written with a casual flourish that seems both normal and magical. It read almost like a diary, but with a bit more of a maturity and story to it. I liked the phrasing and the descriptions of surroundings, feelings, situations. It was really easy to grab hold of and I never lost that grasp.
Growing up is hard; all the pressures, image issues and sexual confusion. Marjara creates a very vivid and somewhat harsh look at these intimate moments, candidly speaking about things that don’t always get talked about openly. I liked how she really emphasized the mental impact this disease has, she really got inside Lila’s head and showed the thought process around the disease, not just describing the physical attributes. I also loved the diversity in the novel, how these pressures were approached from a South Asian girl’s perspective and how her cultural background factored into her situation.
A few things about the hospital didn’t really add up for me, though. Specifically how easily Lila was able to squirrel away food during a stay where she was being treated for an eating disorder. I feel as though stuffing food under a mattress would have been noticed? Were these doctors just that unobservant and neglectful? Personally I can’t speak to a treatment centre like that, but it just seems a little too unrealistic. However, I read an interview with Marjara, who herself had personal experience in a hospital for anorexia, so I have to believe that this was a plausible situation.
One of the descriptions I read about this book said it was about a girl “on a collision course with womanhood”, which I think is probably the most accurate description you could apply to this. It hits hard, it makes a huge impact, it’s a messy and unforgiving read and I flew through it in one sitting loving every second. I hope Marjara writes more books, I love what she did with this.
october 1, 2015 (canada)
june 7, 2016 (us)