Synopses & Reviews
From Jennifer Weiner, one of America’s most celebrated and beloved writers, comes a new novel that takes on the controversial topic of women and addiction and proves to be her most absorbing and timely story yet.
Allison Weiss has a great job… a gorgeous husband… an adorable daughter… and a secret.
Allison Weiss is a normal suburban mother — until a website she develops takes off, and her life starts falling apart. Suddenly, 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 be a good daughter, a good mother, and a good wife, to run her business and serve as Class Mother in her daughter’s snooty private school (and maybe get to the gym every once in a while) Allison finds that the prescription painkillers she took for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical pain — they give her energy, help her feel calm, and let her get through her increasingly hectic days.
When her use gets to the point that she can no longer control it — or hide it — Allison 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 overwhelmed counselors, Allison struggles to get sober, even as she’s convincing herself that she’s not as bad as the women around her. Back in the real world, Allison picks up the pieces, forms new friendships, and builds a life where she can be a mother, a daughter, a friend, a professional success…and a woman in recovery.
With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, All Fall Down is another classic Jennifer Weiner tale of empowerment and redemption that will leave readers laughing and crying to the end.
"Bestselling author Weiner (The Next Best Thing) takes us down the slippery slope of prescription drug addiction in this page-turning saga about a working mom, Allison Weiss, who uses pills to deal with recurrent pain, not to mention life's increasing challenges. These include being the family's major breadwinner; raising a difficult five-year-old daughter, Ellie; helping her mother deal with her father's worsening Alzheimer's; and maintaining a relationship with her ever-distant husband, Dave. While Weiner covers no new territory, she makes a good case for how a well-educated, self-aware woman can become dependent on drugs through legal prescriptions. Even her closest friend, Janet, turns to something in her case, alcohol to take the edge off the burden of being the perfect wife and mom. Allison's experience of rehab is what we might expect: a drab place where she 'doesn't belong,' feels superior to the staff and fellow addicts, and finds the AA philosophy off-putting and outmoded. Although the ultimate explanation for Allison's problems is clichéd, Weiner doesn't take Allison's path to redemption lightly, and convincingly shows that addiction can, indeed, be overcome, but only with genuine commitment and hard, hard work. Agent: Joanna Pulcini, Joana Pulcini Literary Management. (June) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Weiner has taken a complicated, nuanced, and fraught subject and given us a narrative both entertaining and enlightening. "
New York Journal of Books
"All Fall Down is Weiner's best book yet. Her portrayal of rehab is sharp, sad, and mordantly funny... Weiner's account of Allison's hard-won turnaround is pitch-perfect. Allison is a memorable character wisecracking her way through despair. Her rock bottom, when it comes, is well-drawn and convincing."
"Compulsively readable. Weiner's skill is in the specifics. There's no doubt she knows how to deliver a certain kind of story, and well."
New York Times Book Review
"All Fall Down is a witty, realistic criticism on the modern age and how difficult it can be to balance family, career and self, and how quickly everything can spiral out of control. Allison Weiss is a great reminder that people have weaknesses and that superheroes don't exist. Weiner fans will be happy to find this as one of her best works. For those who aren't familiar with her, All Fall Down is a great place to start."
"Weiner, who is a master at creating realistic characters, is at her best here, handling a delicate situation with witty dialogue and true-to-life scenes. Readers will be nodding their heads in sympathy as Allison struggles to balance being a mother, a daughter, and a wife while desperately just wanting to be herself. Weiner is one of the reigning queens of contemporary women's fiction, and her latest is sure to hit the best-seller lists. The hot-topic quality of the story line will only boost readership even further."
Booklist, starred review
Allison Weiss got her happy ending — a handsome husband, an adorable little girl, a job she loves, and a big house in the suburbs. But when she's in the pediatrician's office with her daughter and a magazine flips open to a quiz about addiction, she starts to wonder whether her use of prescription pills is becoming a problem. On the one hand, it's just prescription medication, the stuff her doctors give her. Is a Percocet at the end of a hard day really different than a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump and Pump class... or after your husband ignores you?
Back in the car, with her daughter safely buckled behind her, Allison opens the Altoid tin in her purse and slips a chalky white oval underneath her tongue. The pill unties her knotted muscles, erases the grime and ugliness of the city, soothes her as she frets about the truth of her looking-good life: that her husband's becoming distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father's early Alzheimer's is worsening and her mother's barely managing to cope. She tells herself that the pills let her make it through her days... but what if her ever-increasing drug use, a habit that's becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
All Fall Down is the story of a woman's slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again. With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, this tale of empowerment and redemption is Jennifer Weiner's most poignant, timely, and triumphant story yet.
About the Author
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including Good in Bed, In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, and The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com.