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There was a theme in Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood that I originally wanted to address in the review, but I decided to address it separately. There’s plenty of blogs out there addressing body image, so while this is relevant to that I’m not going to spend much time on that niche. As Siddalee dwells on her childhood, she remembers her mother’s eating disorder. The woman would nibble at the table and sneak food. She didn’t like her slender body, but what struck me most was how Siddalee described it. Instead of hearing, “Am I fat?” she heard her mother ask, “Does there need to be less of me for you to be happy?”

The reason this phrasing struck a chord with me was because when I was growing up, I was constantly told to walk more quietly. It wasn’t like I was stomping around, I just have a naturally heavy gait apparently. It took work and concentration, smaller steps. Looking back, it was almost as if this person was saying I needed to mute myself for their approval.

This same theme was addressed in an episode of Gossip Girl. Poppy advises Serena that a true friend will be happy when you shine. You shouldn’t have to dim your light to make them feel better about themselves. Friends should pull you up (or you pull them up), but they should not drag you down (again, or vise versa).

Not that she needs my permission, but that is why I support Ermisenda branching out and writing books outside of our Blind Sight series. She is so talented; I would never want to be the reason that people don’t get to read her work. I hope you take stock of your friends and relationships. Make sure you’re supporting loved ones and not holding them back.

-Eliabeth Hawthorne

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