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Dave Dunn
Love, Crowd Out, Forgive, Accept
Dave Dunn, author
Love, Crowd Out, Forgive, Accept is a how-to guide for supporting a loved one with anorexia, complete with personal notes from both the author, Dave Dunn, and his daughter, Kara. This book will be useful to families who find themselves battling anorexia in their homes, to those who know someone battling anorexia and to professionals who are helping individuals and families struggling with anorexia.
Dunn debuts with a concise guide on helping families cope with the eating disorder anorexia. Clarifying that he is not a medical or therapeutic professional, Dunn draws from his own experiences as a father whose daughter, Kara, began suffering from anorexia at ten years old, to craft his four keys to supporting a loved one with anorexia: love, crowd out, forgive, and accept. Dunn urges families to stay informed and involved in the recovery process, offering practical advice—including warning signs to look for, language to use and language to avoid, and recognizing outmoded treatment options some authorities might suggest—while sharing his hopes that this guide will “make key information easily accessible to those who suddenly find themselves wishing or needing to learn a lot about anorexia nervosa in a short period of time.”

Readers facing such issues will appreciate the intimate nature of Dunn’s advice: he compiles the experiences of his own family, including personal notes from Kara and himself throughout, to share their perspective and practical knowledge. Advocating for a particular approach, the Family-based Treatment (or the Maudsley Approach), Dunn emphasizes that the role of family is crucial to recovery, and he shares detailed information—treatment team guidelines, sample behavioral contracts, and more—to help readers supplement recovery.

Dunn encourages a family-led approach to facing anorexia, with experts and professionals involved but subordinated: “Your team should be helping you help your child more than directly helping your child,” he writes. Some readers facing anorexia might not have that built-in support structure, of course. Still, his willingness to share a painful experience in such clear-eyed detail will help many families over a hurdle that initially might seem insurmountable. The guide covers a lot of ground on anorexia nervosa in women, and at times the sheer amount of information can feel overwhelming, but readers who stick with it will find much to help—and Dunn’s openness will be an inspiration.

Takeaway: A father and daughter share their experience with and lessons learned from anorexia nervosa.

Great for fans of: Harriet Brown’s Brave Girl Eating: A Family’s Struggle with Anorexia, Clare B. Dunkle’s Hope and Other Luxuries, Eva Musby’s Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders.

Production grades
Cover: B
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: A-