Wednesday, November 13, 2013



Today’s Nonfiction review is of Drink: The intimate relationship between woman and alcohol by Ann Dowsett Johnson. It is 303 pages long including a bibliography at the end. It is published by Harper Wave. The cover has the title in a sweat ring left from a drink. The intended reader is adult and with the content I think that is best. There is talk of sex, sexual abuse, drug use, alcohol abuse, suicide, and other dark topics. The book combines both first person and third person narratives. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- With the feminist revolution, women have closed the gender gap in their professional and educational lives. They have also achieved equality with men in more troubling areas as well. In the United States alone, the rates of abuse among women have skyrocketed in the past decade. DUIs, “drunkorezia” (choosing to limit eating to consume greater quantities of alcohol), and health problems connected to drinking are all on the rise, especially among younger women- a problem exacerbated by the alcohol industry itself. Battling for women’s dollars and leisure time, corporations have developed marketing strategies and products targeted exclusively to women. Equally alarming is a CDC report showing a sharp rise in binge drinking, putting woman and girls at further risk.
Ann Dowsett Johnson illuminations this startling epidemic; dissects the psychological, social, and economic factors that have contributed to its rise. In Drink, she brilliantly weaves in-depth research, interviews with leading researchers, and the moving story of her own struggle with alcohol abuse. The result is an unprecedented and bold inquiry that is both informative and shocking.

Review- This book was very moving but not very surprising to me. Maybe because I have just finished my graduate degree on a party campus but I knew about a lot of the problems that Johnson talks about. She talks about her mother’s struggle with alcohol, her fight with, and many other young and older women’s fights with alcohol. She talks about why someone would want to drink themselves into blackout and what happens when someone does that. The only thing that I really had a problem with in this book is that Johnson point blank tells the reader that she is not going to talk about why she became an alcoholic. My problem with that is she had no problem doing that to others. She does tell when the women give their real names and she does not pull any punches. But I think by not wanting to be honest about herself with the reader that she cheapens her message. The message of Drink is that there is hope. No matter why you drink or use there is hope for you to get better and to get your life back. I think that if someone has an alcoholic or drug user in their life that this a good book to read. It is very well written and I think that this information is needed by the world at large.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I was given this book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.