Thursday, August 4, 2011

Review: Don't Kill the Birthday Girl

Have you ever read a book that made you want to eat an omelet with hazelnut chocolate sauce with a glass of soy milk?  Well, I never had until I read this book!  I wanted to celebrate being able to eat these foods!  In  Don't Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life , Sandra Beasley presents a sad but at the same time humorously written account of life with multiple food allergies.  Weddings?  As careful as she is, nearly half of them have left her gasping for air during an allergic attack.  Traveling overseas?  Don't forget plenty of meds, they may not have the same items available.  Family reunion?  What a joy when a doctor relative gifts you with six months of allergy samples.  While this is a memoir, I learned a lot about food allergies and some of the theories behind them.  Did you know that China doesn't have the incidence of peanut allergies the United States does?  Does dry roasting peanuts make a difference in the higher rate of peanut allergies in America?  While that's not known, she does present some interesting facts about food allergies sprinkled through the book.  From childhood until now, she chronicles what life was like without whining, but instead making it almost laugh out loud funny.  From being "Fish Girl" in college to rejoicing at receiving raisins in her Trick-Or-Treat bags, or not being able to kiss a boyfriend after he ate a forbidden to her food, she shows how life, all of life, is affected by food allergies.  This is a fantastic book, and one of the best I've read this year! 

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