23 December, 2011
Review: Don't Kill the Birthday Girl by Sandra Beasley
While I expected to dislike Don't Kill The Birthday Girl I loved it so much I should marry it. I live in in area where fake food allergies are common and yet I am all too familiar with real food allergies. If I throw a party I know at least two children will arrive with special instructions and an EpiPen but six more will have mothers standing by to explain their allergies as the so called allergic children graze openly on forbidden foods. Sandra Beasley finds this as infuriating as I do. Describing food dislikes or sensitivities as allergies endangers the truly allergic. Sandra Beasley is one of those so endangered.
Almost completely free of self pity, Beasley intersperses important information about the recognition and rise of true food allergies with anecdotal tales of life as a fragile child. With the impatience of anyone restricted, she longs to be normal. Sandra would rather eat what you're eating than draw attention to a myriad number of ingredients that can kill her. She doesn't feel a little queasy or get a headache after encountering an allergen - she goes to the hospital. Addressing the facts of food allergies calmly (that peanut allergy is not an airborne danger but touching someone with a hand that touched peanuts could be serious) Beasley offers insight into the current wave of food fear. Often amusing, at times frustrating, her goal to lead as normal a life as possible makes a great memoir.