“I think there’s something wrong with me,” my sister says. She has lost the roundness in her face that had plagued her so after our trip to Sweden last summer, and she hardly takes up the little space between the end of my chest of drawers and her side of the double closet. She seems disturbed, and in need of my sympathy, though I have only two ugly dresses hanging on my side of that closet, both hand-me-downs, while on her side is an endless row of pretty little skirts, cashmere turtlenecks, and button down blouses my mother bought her at Plain & Fancy so she’d fit in with the in-crowd kids at school, though our family could hardly compare with those upper crusty clans living down on the bay.
Esther was 16 when she began her descent into the madness of self-starvation, but her self-destruction didn’t begin there. Our parents had laid the groundwork for psychosis with years of histrionics and melodrama long before Esther considered her first calorie.
Killing Esther is the tragicomic tale of a toxic childhood. It is a bold memoir that is sometimes maddening, sometimes amusing, and will be with the reader a long time after the last page is turned.