In The Media
June 17, 2014
Allison Weiss got her happy ending--a handsome husband, 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? Read more...
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Allison Weiss got her happy ending--a handsome husband, 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?
The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father's Alzheimer's is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let 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?
With a sparkling comedic touch and a cast of unforgettable characters, this remarkable story of a woman's slide into addiction and struggle to find her way back up again is Jennifer Weiner's most masterful work yet.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-03-31
- Reviewer: Staff
Bestselling author Weiner (The Next Best Thing) takes us down the slippery slope of prescription drug addiction in this page-turning saga about a working mom, Allison Weiss, who uses pills to deal with recurrent pain, not to mention life’s increasing challenges. These include being the family’s major breadwinner; raising a difficult five-year-old daughter, Ellie; helping her mother deal with her father’s worsening Alzheimer’s; and maintaining a relationship with her ever-distant husband, Dave. While Weiner covers no new territory, she makes a good case for how a well-educated, self-aware woman can become dependent on drugs through legal prescriptions. Even her closest friend, Janet, turns to something—in her case, alcohol—to take the edge off the burden of being the perfect wife and mom. Allison’s experience of rehab is what we might expect: a drab place where she “doesn’t belong,” feels superior to the staff and fellow addicts, and finds the AA philosophy off-putting and outmoded. Although the ultimate explanation for Allison’s problems is clichéd, Weiner doesn’t take Allison’s path to redemption lightly, and convincingly shows that addiction can, indeed, be overcome, but only with genuine commitment and hard, hard work. Agent: Joanna Pulcini, Joana Pulcini Literary Management. (June)
Pill-popping in a perfect world
Jennifer Weiner, the best-selling author of 10 novels, goes a bit darker with her new book, a story about the price some women pay in the pursuit of having it all. In All Fall Down, Weiner tackles a growing epidemic in our society: middle- and upper-class suburban parents who abuse prescription medication to cope with their overworked and overstressed lifestyles.
Allison Weiss is a doting mother to her 5-year-old daughter, Eloise, and a devoted wife to her handsome husband. She’s also a blogger and developer for a website that has taken off overnight. As she struggles to keep everything going, Allison begins to abuse pain pills she was given for a back injury in a “Jump & Pump” workout class. Before she knows it, Allison is taking so many pills a day that she has to resort to hiding money from her husband to buy them illegally online.
In today’s world, blogs, Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets serve as online “brag books” for people to portray seemingly idyllic lives. Weiner puts into words the pressure many women feel to maintain a Facebook-worthy life—which means being a supermom as well as a supportive spouse who “leans in” at work, maintains a pre-baby body and throws a nightly meal on the table that would make Julia Child swoon. While struggling for sobriety, Allison tries to convince herself she’s not as bad as the addicts around her. She got her pills from a doctor, not on a street corner, right?
All of Weiner’s books are entertaining, emotional and funny, but her latest is a truthful snapshot of the high-functioning addict. All Fall Down asks whether it is possible to take the online reels of other people’s perfect lives and view them for what they are—just part of the story.