Description: In this description of anorexia nervosa and bulimia, the author provides treatment options and the steps to take to enter into treatment, and she discusses the recovery process.
Purpose: According to the rather lengthy preface, the purpose is to serve as inspiration to find the best possible treatment. This book is an interactive teaching device that helps parents gain insight into their child and themselves, as well as professionals involved with the treatment process. The author offers education and ideas to assist parents in helping their child during recovery. These do appear to be worthy objectives, but helping the parent to gain insight into themselves in the context of their child's eating disorder may be too lofty a goal. In fact, the author states, "as you consider problems posed by this book and the personal issues it raises, you may find that you could benefit from sorting through some of these issues with the help of a psychotherapist."
Audience: According to the author, with whom I agree, the book is intended for parents. It might have been helpful to include the author's credentials on the book cover. Without that information, I wondered about her credibility. Her educational level is discussed only in the final "about the author" page. The quotations from credible sources on the back cover and the discussion of her significant experiences in the field do make her an authority.
Features: The author offers education about eating disorders, describes treatment options in detail, how to become involved in such treatment, and the recovery process. A strength of this book is the format of the exercises. The author provides space for the parent to complete the activities directly in the book, making it easy for the family to follow through. I also found the case illustrations and graphs to be helpful in solidifying the information provided. It was helpful that the author listed case examples to cover both bulimia and anorexia. It was also beneficial that the author provided practical information regarding insurance coverage for the treatments. A shortcoming might be providing a bit too much information regarding the treatment options, and contraindications for particular treatment (i.e., family therapy). A lay person may misinterpret this information, and refuse treatments that are appropriate or essential to the child and family's improvement.
Assessment: This book is of high quality, and appears to be useful for parents of children with eating disorders. I have not read other books on this topic geared toward parents, and cannot compare it to books I am familiar with which are written for the professional.