Monday, May 30, 2022

All That Fills Us by Autumn Lytle REVIEWED

 About the Book:

The journey toward healing starts with a single brave step--but it is never walked alone

Mel Ellis knows that her eating disorder is ruining her life. Everyone tells her rehab is her best option, but she can't bring herself to go. Broke, broken, and empty in more ways than one, Mel launches one last-ditch effort to make hers a story worth telling. She will walk her own road to recovery along the lesser-known trails of the North American wilderness.

Though she is physically and mentally unprepared to face the difficulties that lay ahead, she sets off on foot from Michigan. Her goal? Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. During the long journey, she meets strangers with their own stories, as well as ghosts from her past who can no longer be ignored. But though the land she travels threatens her success at every turn, it's her own dark thoughts she'll have to overcome in order to find peace in the life and the body she has been given.

My Thoughts:

"One day, after all this is over, we'll sit down together and I'll tell you all about this.  And you'll look at me like you did when you first saw the Grand Canyon, and we'll both know that I finally made it."  (p. 115)

This is the story of Mel Ellis' unique and seemingly impossible journey to overcome a problem that has consumed her entire being - literally to the point of almost dying.   I got to know Mel and relate to her in a very personal way through the pages of this precious novel. This is not exactly a light read, but the way Lytle tells Mel's story brings you in as a friend, and keeps you engaged.  As you read, you'll learn a lot about eating disorders and the behaviors that surround and confound the people who struggle with this particular emotional demon.

Mel chooses a path that is rather extreme in the "real" world, so some level of suspended disbelief is required.  I love the way the author inserts her life into the lives of other she encounters along the way.  I love the way she is able to reconnect with the very person whose life choices so unknowingly and profoundly affected Mel's path.  It really made me want to be more self-aware so that I don't inflict my pain onto others who are, always, dealing with their own stuff.

I highly recommend this novel!  For me, it was an opportunity to examine my own life and the way I relate to others who may need encouragement along their life journey.  As always, God divinely appointed the timing of this story - He knows how to get my attention!  I will come back to and share this story with others, because it it a beautiful way to illustrate that only God's presence in our live can ultimately heal and feel the deepest longings of our heart!

About the Author:

Autumn Lytle identifies with a strange group of humans who enjoy running long distances and writing even longer books. Along with being a forever-recovering anorexic and exercise addict, she is a weirdly good checkers player and finder of four-leaf clovers. She spends her days thinking up stories and trying to figure out this whole parenting thing with her son. She can often be found out exploring her hometown of Seattle, Washington, with her family in tow. Learn more at

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