The Spaces in Between by Caroline Jones
'Beautiful and heart-rending . . . I could smell Africa on every page' - A. A. Gill
Caroline Jones was born in Ethiopia and spent most of her childhood in East Africa. She read French and Spanish at Oxford University and went on to make documentaries for the BBC. Now aged 39, she is happily married with two children.
Yet beneath this seemingly perfect public exterior, Caroline was in fact privately indulging in a pattern of destructive behaviour that left her exhausted, anxious, depressed and full of self-loathing - from the ages of 17 to 31, for 14 years, Caroline was suffering from an extremely widespread yet comparatively little-talked about mental illness - bulimia.
Caroline is articulate, intelligent, insightful and frank about her experiences, interweaving the journey of her illness with memories of her African childhood, her time at Oxford, her work for the BBC, her family and other relationships, making for a warm and engaging memoir. Her perceptive, retrospective approach to her illness allows her to transcend the topic of bulimia and talk more generally about self-destructive behaviour - there are lessons here which will speak to a little part of everyone.