Gluten Free Girl

I bought Gluten-Free Girl by Shauna James Ahern when it came out in the fall because I really enjoy the Gluten-Free Girl blog. No, I don't have celiac but I know plenty of people who have food issues and with the rates of diagnosis increasing I think it's something that's important to understand. Plus, Ahern is a very talented writer. Her writing style on her blog is rich and descriptive and I figured that would translate to her book. And it did.

The first two chapters in the book chronicle Ahern's life before she was diagnosed with celiac. She was often sick as a child and then following a very serious car accident her health really went downhill.  She spent weeks on her couch unable to eat anything but her friend's homemade white bread. Little did she know this was actually making her sicker.

After her diagnosis Ahern embarked on a journey through food - finding food that she could even eat at first and then exploring new tastes new food. After years of being ill she learned to love food. She had energy again. She felt well. It was a new life.

Mixed in the food discussions and the recipes there's also a love story. As part of her new life she met The Chef. This summer, a few months before the book was released, they married. (And learned not to put too much information out there for the world to see...they ended up secretly changing the location of the wedding.)

It's a beautiful book really. But I'm not someone who needs to adapt to a gluten-free life. And I think that people who might need to do that, while finding Ahern inspiring, might also find this book intimidating. Especially if they are not someone who ever spent any amount of time in the kitchen and wouldn't recognize a fresh herb if it bit them. I think people who are not used to cooking may read part of this, think it's lovely, but think that they can't do it.  It's a book that foodies will love...but non-foodies may shy away from.

That being said, I think Ahern is a very strong voice for celiac awareness.  Her website is appealing to people without celiac as well (if I'm any indication at least). Even though I think her book is potentially intimidating to non-foodies I do heartily recommend it.