Writing: 4/5 Plot: 4/5 Characters: 5/5
This humorous and insight-rich memoir focuses on the author’s work on forming and maintaining female friendship — something that has been problematic for her for some time. The journey is immersed in the Recovery (12 step) world — a world I have no personal exposure to (except through the hilarious sitcom “Mom”) — but I found it pretty easy to pick up the vocabulary and principles. Despite that, I resonated a lot with her inner turmoil and suspicions and enjoyed the frank and honest way she progressed to a place where she could improve. It occurred to me that those of us who don’t have specific problems with any of the 12-step addictions could definitely benefit from the precepts and processes of these programs.
The narrative centers around a particularly strong friendship that she forms with Meredith and progress she makes with several previously close friends where the friendships ended one way or the other without resolution. I enjoyed her open self-analysis and her successes, and I liked the focus on friendships (one character pointing out that “All the tools for romantic relationships work for friendships”). There were parts that made me cringe and get judgmental, and that was instructional, too.
Some acronyms of recovery (new to me and I liked them):
KISS (keep it simple, sweetie)
ODAT (one day at a time)
FEAR (false evidence appearing real)
SHAME (should have already mastered everything)
Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The book will be published on February 7th, 2023