Saturday, 31 May 2014

Review: All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

Allison Weiss has a great job...a handsome adorable daughter...and a secret.

Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband’s becoming distant, her daughter’s acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer’s, and her mother’s barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort—they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it’s not like she’s some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who’s lost everything. It’s not as if she has an actual problem.

However, when Allison’s use gets to the point that she can no longer control—or hide—it, she ends up in a world she never thought she’d experience outside of a movie theater: rehab. Amid the teenage heroin addicts, the alcoholic grandmothers, the barely-trained “recovery coaches,” and the counselors who seem to believe that one mode of recovery fits all, Allison struggles to get her life back on track, even as she’s convincing herself that she’s not as bad off as the women around her.

With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, All Fall Down is a tale of empowerment and redemption and Jennifer Weiner’s richest, most absorbing and timely story yet.

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: June 17th 2014 by Atria Books
Terri's Thoughts
I won an advanced copy of this book via Goodreads first reads in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is June 17 2014.
I have not read any of Jennifer Weiner's other books however I had certainly heard of her and I have been curious for some time.  I was overjoyed when the opportunity arose to read her latest work.  I have to say it was truly worth the wait.
While an easy read in style it is not an easy read in content.  Dealing with the subject of addiction this story weaves a scary tail of drug abuse and the nose dive your life can take when your addiction takes over.  I loved that this look in to addiction was told through an everyday ordinary person.  Great family, great job, "mcmansion" in the suburbs.  I found it realistic in the fact that addiction does not discriminate and stereotype and it can happen to anyone.
I have to admit that there were many times that I wanted to slap Allison and tell her to wake up!  I couldn't believe what she was doing to herself.  I guess that is the whole point.  Friends and family who are powerless to help and angry because they can't get through.  In this sense I found the story realistic, If I was angry I can only imagine what it is like for people who have to live with it.
I am not going to detail too much about the story since it has not yet been released and I don't like to include spoilers in my review.  I will say that this story really made me think.  It is incomprehensible to me what thousands of "Allisons" go through on any given day as they battle with addiction be it alcohol or narcotics.  The lives it touches and the damage it does.  When I was younger I thought that everyone had a choice and that this can only happen if you let it.  I am older and wiser now and this story dispels that notion and tells it like it is.  There is not necessarily always a rock bottom sob story tail behind an addict however regardless of the story there is no less damage.
I feel lucky to be introduced to Weiner's work through this story.  Without a doubt I will be checking out her other works.  I highly recommend.
About the Author

As a #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jennifer Weiner's books have spent nearly five years on the New York Times bestseller list, with more than 11 million copies of her books in print in 36 countries. Her newest work, ALL FALL DOWN, will be published on June 17, 2014.
Jennifer Weiner was born in 1970 on an army base in Louisiana. She grew up in Connecticut and graduated from Princeton University. She worked as a newspaper reporter in Central Pennsylvania, Lexington, Kentucky, and Philadelphia, before the publication of her first novel, GOOD IN BED, in 2001. She is the author of the novels IN HER SHOES (2002), which was turned into a major motion picture starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, and Shirley MacLaine; LITTLE EARTHQUAKES, (2004), GOODNIGHT NOBODY (2005), the short story collection THE GUY NOT TAKEN (2006), CERTAIN GIRLS (2008), BEST FRIENDS FOREVER (2009), FLY AWAY HOME (2010), THEN CAME YOU (2011), and THE NEXT BEST THING (2012). Her Halloween eShort story, DISCONNECTED, was published on October 28, 2013

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1 comment:

  1. I haven't read anything from this author yet, but this book sounds really good. I'm going to add it to my TBR list :)