All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

18144115The first time I tried reading this book, I just couldn’t get into it. I was still new to reading audio books, and every time the narrator spoke for Elly (the main character’s child), I was put off. A year later, I’ve decided to read every book in my Audible account, and what better way to decide where to start than with the letter ‘A’?

I’m glad I gave this book a second chance. Some aspects of the book are typical: bratty daughter (though the book does hint that Elly may have an autism spectrum disorder, and as someone who was recently diagnosed as an adult, I could see pieces of myself in Elly’s behaviors and characteristics), distant husband who may be having an affair, and a woman who is trying to juggle being a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a full-time blogger. In order to deal with the stressors of her life, Allison turns to painkillers. At first she gets her refills from various doctors who have treated her (such as her primary care doctor, her dentist, and a pain specialist), but then she discovers a way to buy these drugs online. Her addiction gets worse and worse, until she is confronted by her husband and her mother. She goes into rehab and at one point escapes (I found this unrealistic, because she was gone long enough that I wondered why nobody called her husband or other emergency contact. Of course, I’m only familiar with psych hospitals, so maybe drug and alcohol rehab centers are different.). She realizes that the rehab is helping her and goes back into treatment.

This book helped me understand the mind of an addict, to a point. I have a couple friends and family members who have struggled with addiction, but other than talking to them and what I’ve read in books and journal articles, I don’t know what it’s like.

The book ended on a positive note, though not necessarily how I expected it to.


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