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by Tony Roma
posted 21/08/2015

The Disappearing Sister


For families across Australia the devastating effects of anorexia nervosa do not stop with the sufferer.

This is what Coogee author Elizabeth Cummings hopes to address with a picture book targeted at the siblings and family of those going through the crippling mental illness.

“Anorexia is a very difficult thing to manage because of the emotional aspect as well as the physical,” she said.

“We didn’t really want our younger daughter to be affected by it too, and her childhood.”

She said part of what inspired her to begin writing her book The Disappearing Sister three years ago was the intervention of her daughter’s doctor.

“He brought everyone in and included the whole family in educating us on what was gong on, in particular with my younger daughter,” she said.

Her daughters are now young adults free from the condition.

The story, complete with illustrations, is written from the perspective of a child. The book is available on Amazon in paperback and will also be made available as an ebook.

It will be officially launched at Ventnor House in Randwick on August 22 from 2-4pm.

What do you do when someone in you care about is hurting, when their behaviour is making it worse? How can you help them if you are the youngest and no one is listening? This book tackles the tough topic of eating disorders and how a family has to work together to help the big sister get better. Eva loves her big sister very much. Anna is clever and smart and fun. But one day Eva notices that her sister is staring to behave differently and that she seems unwell. Eva wants to help but doesn’t know what to do. So she confides in her friend Jennie who helps her find a way to help her sister. A moving yet hopeful account of a family working together to help a loved one recover their health.

Who: The Disappearing Sister by Elizabeth Cummings

What: Book Launch

When: Saturday August 22 from 2pm

Where: Ventnor House Randwick