Title: All Fall Down
Author: Jennifer Weiner
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 17, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5
Allison Weiss got her happy ending: a handsome husband, an adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician's office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder: Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class, or if your husband ignores you? She tells herself that the pills help her make it through her days; but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that's becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?
It took a while for All Fall Down to draw me in, yet, about fifty percent along, I simply could not put this book down. For Allison Weiss it starts with one prescription painkiller a day to make her cope better. One painkiller that escalates to more as the normal pressures of living seems to spiral. That is, until the pressure is no longer about coping with daily life, but about getting more pills.
I really thought this book would bore me to tears. Fortunately, the lively, witty prose and Allison's sense of humor kept me reading.
At first this seems to be the account of a neurotic woman who takes painkillers to put her on a high in order to cope with, what appears to be, a perfectly ordinary, even perfect, life. Soon, however, it becomes apparent that it is the little things; the oversensitive child, the husband's casual female acquaintance, the marriage that has lost its romantic edge, the father with Alzheimer’s, and the pressures of work on social media that is driving Allison to self medicate. In the end, the reader gets a look into the mind of a true addict, experiences the main character's fear and despair when the pills run out, and witnesses the long, often frustrating, healing process.
A comfortably paced, sensitively written novel, All Fall Down is a worthwhile read for those who have dealt with addiction as well as those who have friends or family who are going down this dark path. It is a tale of fear and despair but, ultimately, of hope and healing.
ABOUT the AUTHOR
Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, includingGood in Bed, and In Her Shoes, which was made into a major motion picture, as well as The Next Best Thing. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives with her family in Philadelphia.
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