At first glance, Alice Wells and her young daughter and son seem to be an ordinary family grieving the death of a father and husband in a tragic car accident. In reality, her story offers the reader a rarely told perspective- a mother’s account of the impact of a husband’s devastating addiction to internet child pornography and how this dark world reached right into the heart of her own home.
This is every parent’s worst nightmare. Alice’s honest and informative memoir breaks down society’s assumptions about paedophiles and shatters the illusion that we are all safe. She helps us understand that this destructive addiction and manipulation of childhood innocence can reach into anyone’s life. Alice shatters illusions that child sexual abuse follows strict rules of engagement; she has to find her own way.
Although harrowing at times, Eating the Elephant demonstrates how sometimes all we can do is put one foot in front of the other and carry on. At the centre of her story is a thread- how the wisest question in the midst of mayhem helped Alice: How DO you eat an elephant? The elephant is the metaphor for everything in her story that made Alice, and has the potential to make the reader uncomfortable; the reason such experiences are often held secret, with damaging consequences. And yet, Eating the Elephant is not an account of shame and hopelessness but a story of perseverance, patience and fortitude that will stay with you for a long time to come.
Alice studied medicine in the UK before training in geriatrics, medical ethics and palliative medicine in the USA. She has worked as a doctor for 20 years. After the death of her husband, Alice returned to England, where she now works in palliative medicine. Eating the Elephant is Alice’s first book. She lives with her daughter and son in the UK.
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