I’ve had the grand joy of making regular trips to the library in my post-GRE wallow. (Pre-phd application goals are starting to move in, though…) Allergic Girl had caught my eye several times, so I finally yielded and checked it out. Sloan Miller, the author, has the misfortune to suffer from severe and moderate food allergies but the wisdom to learn to eat well in the outside world. Her first book is a memoir-cum-guidebook for those with food allergies/celiac disease. Friends, family, and food professionals would likely also find a deeper understanding of the experiences the allergy-prone must learn to survive.
Anyone new to allergies will likely gain skills and some confidence in venturing out into restaurant eating, as well as eating with family and friends. Miller, however, turns the reader’s small arsenal into a full-fledged army/navy base complete with aircraft carriers and a bunker in case of nuclear attack. Templates for e-mails and conversations for situations ranging from your cousin’s bat mitzvah to a business lunch or company party are particularly useful. For a newly diagnosed parent or adult, it’s a fantastic resource for how to venture safely out into the world. For long-timers, Allergic Girl contains enough anecdotes to remind you that it could be worse and a few suggestions that will make your life easier. Profiles of her food allergy clients expand her story with other examples of working with various restrictions in different family dynamics and communities.
My single critique of the book is a certain lightness in tone. It’s very friendly, and easy to read, but often seems too lighthearted when the consequences of errors are trips to the ER and severe GI distress (*cough*). On the other hand, you could get an apathetic teenager to read it and enjoy it.
What’s not to love? You can learn more at Miller’s website or even catch her on the book tour.