Book Review|Countless by Karen Gregory

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for proving me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

“Is there anything that’s concerning you?’ Felicity says. ‘College, home, boyfriends?’ Though she’s more or less smiling at this last one.

I don’t smile. Instead, I feel my face go hot. Silence stretches as wide as an ocean.
When I look up, Felicity has this expression on her face like she’s just seen Elvis. Slowly, she leans forward and in a gentle voice I’ve never heard her use before she says, ‘Have you done a pregnancy test?’

When Hedda discovers she is pregnant, she doesn’t believe she could ever look after a baby. The numbers just don’t add up. She is young, and still in the grip of an eating disorder that controls every aspect of how she goes about her daily life. She’s even given her eating disorder a name – Nia. But as the days tick by, Hedda comes to a decision: she and Nia will call a truce, just until the baby is born. 17 weeks, 119 days, 357 meals. She can do it, if she takes it one day at a time …

Heartbreaking and hopeful by turns, Karen Gregory’s debut novel is a story of love, heartache and human resilience. And how the things that matter most can’t be counted. Perfect for fans of Lisa Williamson, Non Pratt and Sarah Crossan.”

This isn’t usually a type of book that I would enjoy, but this is the best representation of an eating disorder, in fiction, I have ever read (and I have read a lot). As someone who has grown up struggling with anorexia and has been in and out of hospital, I really related to Hedda. Gregory writes with such delicacy about a horrible illness and does so without being triggering. Too many books of this nature fall into the trap of focusing on numbers, calories and weight which is only a small part of the illness so this was really refreshing to find it was a no number zone.

Thank you to Gregory for writing such an accurate and emotional book. Bravo.

5/5 stars, easily.

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