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Synopses & Reviews
One woman's journey to the bottom of the bottle-and back again.
In this moving, emotionally charged, and unflinching look at alcoholism and its effects, lawyer and prominent National Public Radio writer and commentator Heather King describes her twenty-year-long descent into the depths of addiction with wit and candor. King went from a highly functioning alcoholic who managed to maintain her grip on reality to living in the lowest of dive bars, drinking around the clock and barely sustaining an existence. With help from the most unexpected source, King stopped her self-destructive spiral and changed her world for the better. This is the poignant, painfully honest, and inspirational true story of a woman who looked into the abyss, and was able to step back from the edge and reclaim her life on her own terms.
"Following a series of memoirs detailing struggles with alcoholism (Smashed; Dry), NPR commentator King chronicles her 20 years as an alcoholic before her family's intervention led to sobriety. Written with a New Englander's wry sense of humor, King recounts her childhood in a small New Hampshire town with her six siblings and her parents' struggle to support the family. Entering her teenage years during the '60s, King experimented with drugs and alcohol, slowly coming to crave 'that warm, comforting glow.' After seven years in college, King moved to Boston, where her alcoholism gained momentum in the city's many bars, and despite her dream to write she moved from one waitressing job to another, surprisingly getting her law degree while in a state of perpetual inebriation. King's tales from her Boston rooming house detail such wonders as the communal bathroom ('walls were splotched with blood') and the residents ('drunks, drug addicts, paranoid schizophrenics... [they] were a colorful lot'). The Bible verses that begin each chapter give an uneasy sense of impending proselytism, but not until the epilogue do readers discover King's Catholic faith. While entertaining and witty, this memoir offers no new revelations about an alcoholic's life and will mainly interest those sharing King's Northeast roots. Agent, Laurie Liss. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Loaded with jokes and wicked anecdotes...Parched is a big-picture kind of memoir, literary and complete." Robin Vaughn, Boston Phoenix
This powerful memoir chronicles how the author became her drinking self, spending over 20 years in a cycle of drinking and self-loathing. From highly functioning alcoholic to living in dive bars, King's painful and poignant story tells how she evolved, stopped, and changed her life.
About the Author
Heather King is a writer and a lawyer. Her essays have been widely published and she received a "Notable Essay" citation in Best American Essays 2000, 2001, and 2002.
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