I am going to show you why your pain is invisible to everyone else, and why, in the struggle to be seen, your body became your battlefield.
From the outside, your life looks polished. You’re talented, successful, strong. Your perfection safeguards you against suffering. Everyone assumes you’re fine, and you hide in plain sight.
But the truth is that, inside, you feel like a fraud. From childhood, you’ve been gaslighted by your own gifts. “Good enough” is impossible. But being perfect leaves no space to be human. You suffer in silence. You use your body as a canvas to scream your pain, shrinking in a desperate bid to be visible.
This book is my story and the story of women I have worked with. It is the story of how vulnerability will unlock your truth and set you free.
Iona Holloway woke up one day and knew she could never go on another diet. She was willing to sacrifice her “perfect body” if it meant she felt whole—not lost, ashamed, and hopeless. She became her own guide on the hard journey of coming home to herself.
Haunting, vulnerable, blunt, and stunning, Ghost is a story that reveals why strong women go to war with their bodies. In her debut memoir, Iona Holloway explores lost childhood, identity webs, hot shame, emotional freeze, love, and lineage to tell the story of how to change not just behaviours, but beliefs. How to ask for help. How to let go of perfect.
Now is not the time to shrink. This book won’t heal you, but it will help you find the heart to heal.
Press & Praise
"The power to recognize yourself and accept yourself is one of the most difficult and self-sustaining skills that we all have. Iona shows just how needed and possible it can be."
"Ghost is a haven. In reckoning with her own murderous history with food and shame, Iona Holloway, a narrative sister of Glennon Doyle and Mary Karr, extends a hand down into the pit for her reader. Women who approach the mirror as their judge and enemy, read this. Women who 'have it all' and still hate themselves, read this. Women raising daughters, girls who shouldn't grow up questioning the acceptability of their bodies, read this."
"In Ghost, Holloway explores the devastating consequences of when talent, perfectionism, and overworking collide. She also teaches you how to pick up the pieces and rebuild."