All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner Audio Book:12 hours, 45 minutes Book: 384 pages
In this book, Jennifer Weiner takes us into the world of addiction. The main character, Alison Weiss is a wife, a mother, a daughter and a blogger. Her father develops alzheimers, her mother needs looking after and her daughter is a very demanding child. Alison is all about taking on whatever anyone asks with a smile and a sure can-do attitude, but, secretly she feels she cannot keep up with all of her responsibilities. After a serious back injury Alison’s doctor prescribes percoset, Vicodin and oxydcodone for her pain. Once recovered, Alison realizes she likes the jolt her system gets from these drugs and they help her to keep up everything on her plate with a cheery disposition and she feels invincible and takes on even more volunteering, baking goodies for her daughters class, etc. When her daughter continues to get more sensitive as Alison terms her child’s bratty demanding behavior instead of correcting her, Jennifer self-medicates with more pills they take the edge off make her stress headaches go away and bring back her sunny disposition. Alison is thinking she is living better through chemicals, but, her self-dosing begins to increase. It starts taking more and more pills to achieve the same feeling. She ends of going to 3 different doctors complaining about backpain that has long since gone and even discovers an online site where she can order any drugs she wants for a price. At first she is wary of being ripped off but finds out it is true they will send her whatever drugs she chooses. She opens a separate checking account and begins to funnel money out of the joint checking account she and her husband have to cover her drug orders. Things start to snowball. She is covering her tracks pretty well though friends and family are beginning to ask her, “Are you o.k.?” Her daughter’s attitude sends her running for mother’s little helpers to cope. She and her husband become distant and she suspects he is having an affair – she takes more pills to deal. Her father runs away from home – she takes more pills. While at a friend’s house even though she has swallowed a large number of pills that day she is easily convinced to have a glass of wine and chat. Then she leaves juiced up on a barrage of pills and now alcohol to boot. She has to pick her daughter and two of her daughter’s classmates up from school and take them home. Things get even more interesting from then on. I won’t spoil the story but it is a good one. Jennifer Weiner really takes you into the psyche and the life of an addict. You meet a lot of other characters throughout the book dealing with their own demons and she brings the reader with her immersing you so fully you will come away with an empathy for the struggle each person is going through. Everyone has their reason for being where they are and this book explains their journeys so well you will never look at addicts without considering a little of their pain hereafter. This is my favorite book by Jennifer Weiner. No fluff in this story but a lot of heart.