Cold Vein is an autobiographical account of Anne Tonner’s relationship with her daughter who has anorexia. She details her daughter’s illness and the impact it has on the family and the lengths they need to go to support Claire to overcome this awful illness.
Cold vein is the name the family give to anorexia, as it dominates all of their thoughts, activities and zaps them all of their energy. Anne and Claire go to Stockholm to a treatment facility when anorexia returns, and the second half of the book is based there and their experiences of the clinic.
Cold Vein is sad, strong, powerful, and gives a good insight into how this little talked about disease ravages lives and families. Our society obsesses with food and weight in the same breath, sending people messages about how we should look and how we should achieve this. Claire was a ‘normal’ young person with friends, energy and goals – however she was attacked by anorexia and this claimed all of her goals.
Anne Tonner writes of this experience well – openly and showing the vulnerability of herself and her family.
I found this book to be a really good insight into anorexia, our own healthcare system and the lengths families need to go to in order for the person to get better.