Tyranny Review

TITLE: Tyranny
AUTHOR: Lesley Fairfield
PUB DATE: October 2009

In Tyranny, brisk, spare text and illustrations that deal head-on with anorexia propel the reader along on Anna’s journey as she falls prey to the eating disorder, personified as her tormentor, Tyranny.

The novel starts with a single question: “How did I get here?” The answer lies in the pages that follow, and it’s far from simple. Pressured by media, friends, the workplace, personal relationships, and fashion trends, Anna descends into a seemingly unending cycle of misery. And whenever she tries to climb out of the abyss, her own personal demon, Tyranny, is there to push her back in. The contest seems uneven, and it might be except for one thing: Anna’s strength of character has given rise to her deadly enemy. Ironically, it is that same strength of character that has the ultimate power to save her from the ravages of Tyranny.

Brilliantly and realistically presented, Tyranny is a must-read for anyone looking for a better understanding of eating disorders and for everyone looking for a compelling page-turner that is truly a story of triumph and hope.


I have to thank Sylvia at Tundra Books for sending me Tyranny. I took part in the Medina Hill tour and as a thank you she said I could pick out a book from their catalog and this is what I picked.

The book is done as a graphic novel something that I recently discovered and I am enjoying them. It was a quick read with an important message in it.

In our daily lives we are bombarded with images of super thin girls and we try to look like them no matter the cost to ourselves. We are pressured by the media (magazines, tv, movies etc), fashion trends, celebrities, the work place, the malls etc to look like those girls.

This is exactly what this graphic novel is about. Its about a girl named Anna who has an eating disorder. She is struggling to over come it but can’t because of her subconscious, Tryanny telling her she is fat and not to eat.

No matter how thin or close to death Anna gets she still sees herself as fat and unworthy. Anna began this destructive cycle when she got her period for the first time and went shopping with her mom. She saw the difference in her body. What is normal she saw as fat.

At first Anna started dieting but only by counting calories, then to not eating food, and then she started to binge and purge. From all the binging and purging she got very sick but still whenever she looked into the mirror she kept seeing herself as fat.

Out of panic one day her mother visits her because Anna hasn’t answered her phone. She is shocked at what she sees and get Anna the help she needs. She is admitted to the hospital. With the help of her psychiatrist she started to see things clearer.

Can she make it work? Will it take the death of her friend to make her realize what she is doing to her body is wrong?


-An estimated 1 in 100 American women binges and purges to lose weight.

-Approximately 5 per cent of women and 1 percent of men have anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder.

-It is estimated that 200,000 to 300,000 Canadian women aged 13 to 40 have anorexia nervosa and twice as many have bulimia.

-Each day Americans spend an average of $109 million on dieting and diet related products.


National Eating Disorder Information Centre:
Lesley Fairfield is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design in illustration. Her work appears in many children’s books. Lesley’s personal thirty-year struggle with anorexia and bulimia has informed her work concerning body image, which has appeared in “Dance in Canada” magazine and in York University’s International Women’s Studies Journal.

This book was provided for review by Tundra Books.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
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