Thursday, December 2, 2010
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
“Thou art the Black Rider. Go thee out unto the world.”
Lisabeth Lewis has a black steed, a set of scales, and a new job: she’s been appointed Famine. How will an anorexic seventeen-year-old girl from the suburbs fare as one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
Traveling the world on her steed gives Lisa freedom from her troubles at home: her constant battle with hunger, and her struggle to hide it from the people who care about her. But being Famine forces her to go places where hunger is a painful part of everyday life, and to face the horrifying effects of her phenomenal power. Can Lisa find a way to harness that power — and the courage to battle her own inner demons?
In this book Jackie Morse Kessler talks about some serious subject matter; anorexia, bulimia and suicide. I did find the pace a little slow, but it did not take away from the intricately woven story of Lisa whose inner demon leads her to listen to the Thin Voice, a part of herself that only sees a fat bloated body in the mirror and ironically becoming the Black Rider of the Apocalypse (Famine). Although it seems like they had a close relationship in the past, her parents seem rather absent now, too absorbed in their own lives to see what is happening with their daughter, her absence goes unnoticed when she disappears from her house to fulfill her duties as Famine. Lisa’s body is beginning to shut down around her, and when her friend, Suzanne, and very loving boyfriend, James, see the terrible changes in her and confront her, she violently turns away from them and works harder on disciplining herself. She turns to her bulimic friend, Tammy, for support figuring Tammy would understand. But things go awry when she takes up the mantle of the Black Rider and begins to see just how truly destructive Famine can be. The journey she takes is filled with self discovery and as events speed up, Lisa discovers an inner strength that she never knew she had.