The Silent-footed Butler


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Review by: Ann Smith

There are many fascinating themes which run through this beautifully written book. I would like to draw attention to one of those themes - Cathy’s own story.
      Cathy’s father was an insecure and unbalanced man who openly displayed hatred towards Cathy’s rational and intelligent mother and Granny. Long term stress and misery of home life tore Cathy apart. With stunning openness, Cathy reveals the emotional turmoil that she endured during her formative years. She describes with painful poignancy the confusion of her teenage years trying to placate her turbulent father, remain loyal to her steadfast mother, cope with abysmal asthma and struggle with her sense that her twin sister was more popular and, crucially, physically smaller than herself. An utter lack of any attention being paid to her emotional needs fuels confusion and self loathing and we see how this progresses to Cathy punishing herself by reducing her food intake. Cathy provides us with an important insight into the many layers that build towards a complex condition which I feel would be informative to anyone who has been affected by an eating disorder. It is a poetic book that transports the reader to a sense of having lived different lives.

Ann Smith: textile artist

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The Silent-footed Butler by Cathy Giles