On The Spectrum by Jennifer Gold

*Trigger warning: contains eating disorders and lots of discussion about food*

This book was such a beautiful little gem and I urge you to read it. 

Clara grew up with a famous Ballerina mother who was unsurprisingly, super healthy and had a variety of different eating disorders and food-related anxieties which she had passed down to her daughter. When Clara's father asks her to come and live with him in Paris for the Summer to look after her half-brother Alastair, she is less than thrilled. Having only met him once and had heard him been described as being "on the spectrum," Clara wasn't sure how to deal with this little six-year-old boy. During her time in Paris, she gets to know her brother, begins to overcome some of her own issues, deals with some of the psychological repercussions of her disorder and creates strong friendships with the characters. 

Now, whilst part of that summary sounds a bit clinical and perhaps a bit boring, it is far from it. In the first half of the book, the eating disorders and the lives of the mother-daughter duo are emphasised greatly, so we can come to understand the complexity and the severity of the food issues. The second half of the book is an honest look at how somebody who has no experience with Autism, then comes to terms with the way that her little brother may be classified as "different" to other children. Throughout the book, both Clara and Alastair help each other and the relationship is such a beautiful thing to watch blossom and will hopefully educate some readers on the Autism spectrum a little bit. I would highly recommend reading this gorgeous book, it truly is a heart-warming read.

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