Consumed: A Sister’s Story: An unflinching portrayal of sibling rivalry and regret

Arifa Akbar looks back at her sister’s unhappy childhood, her early death and the dysfunctional family life that ruined their relationship in this honest and thoughtful memoir

Arifa Akbar reconstructs her family’s history with an unflinching clarity


Consumed: A Sister’s Story

By Arifa Akbar

Sceptre, €21.99

One day when her parents were out, the British-Pakistani teenager Fauzia Akbar found a Stanley knife. She began to leaf through her parents’ photo albums and used the blade to cut out her image from every print. Fuelled by an overwhelming rage, she was symbolically removing herself from her family.

In her early teens, Fauzia developed depression and an acute eating disorder. Later, during cycles ...