Chillaxin’, Four Stars & Mother Teresa

Standard
Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat.  ~ Mother Teresa
*******
4.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable Memoir,January 26, 2012
By
A. Arendt (Fredericksburg, VA 22405)

(From my blog, Word Vagabond: Supporting Independent and Small Press Authors.)
When Jennifer Place entered a substance abuse treatment center for the first time, she was fresh out of jail and drinking four bottles of wine a day. She had given away custody of her two children, married a man she didn’t love, and moved several states away, all in a haze of alcohol. This book describes her journey through five treatment programs, struggling to free herself from her toxic relationship with drinking.
The book begins just after Place’s husband has her hauled off to jail, which is definitely an attention-grabbing way to start. Unfortunately, this is immediately followed by a chapter that tries to sum up her entire history up until that point in just a few pages. The result is confusing and feels rushed.
Thankfully, the book gets much easier to read after that. Place’s descriptions of her time in jail and rehab are vivid and interesting. Her voice gets stronger and more confident chapter by chapter, which helps the reader feel the progress she is making underneath her continuing addiction.
Watching her enter each new treatment center and then relapse time and again is frustrating, but that’s what makes this an authentic story: there are no easy answers, no quick fixes. It would be nice to see more of the internal work she was doing while in treatment, though. She talks about doing constant journaling and introspection, but never shares the results of that work. She also doesn’t discuss why she started drinking in the first place, which I think would be a crucial detail for this kind of memoir.
Even as a person who has never struggled with addiction, I found a lot of empathize with in her story. Place’s severe anxiety attacks were all too familiar, and I actually found those parts emotionally difficult to read because they described perfectly experiences I have gone through. It was easy for me to understand how difficult it was to recover from alcohol abuse and try to manage severe anxiety at the same time.
Apart from the story, Saturation would have benefitted from more thorough copy-editing. While there weren’t a crippling number of typos and style errors, they were a bit distracting.
I think this is a valuable memoir for anyone who wants a better understanding of alcohol addiction, or even the possible effects of severe anxiety.

~~~~~~~

Thanks A!

Book Review + Mae West

Standard

Wow, I’d love to walk through there!

5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn’t Put This Down!!!,January 19, 2012
By
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

I absolutely LOVED this book. I got it for my Kindle and I just couldn’t put it down. For a first book this was well-written and brutally honest, which I really appreciated. I did not want this book to end, but after all the author had gone through, I couldn’t imagine one more bad event in her life. For someone who is struggling with sobriety this is an excellent account because, for me at least, there is so much I could relate to. I found myself cheering for the author every time she entered another treatment center, but even when she relapsed I sympathized with her because I know what it’s like. Yes, she had quite an attitude, but look at the reasons: she arrived to treatment nearly every time extremely intoxicated and not very happy about being there. Too add more to it, I really think that she was feeling very beaten down and deeply disappointed in herself and was afraid of another failure. I loved the fact that she never gave up on herself in the end.
I highly recommend this to anyone going through recovery or any friends or family of an addict!

*******

Thanks, Black Belt Mom!

Quote of the day:   Between two evils, I generally like to pick the one I never tried before. ~ Mae West

Extraordinary Picture and Review!

Standard

“A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.”
Wade Boggs

 

New! Nymtoc reviewed Saturation
Extraordinary November 15, 2011
Jennifer Place tells her own story and holds nothing back. “Saturation” is a hard look at a hard life. Through sheer determination, she made her way down long, ugly roads most of us never travel, and came out safe and sane at the end. The tough broads and eccentric jailbirds she meets belong in a movie. Many of the prison scenes are disturbing, but they show how much this gritty young woman went through before finding her way back to a more or less normal world.
~~~~~~~
Thanks Nym!