Sunday, January 22, 2017

Book review: All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner

In our fast-paced, stressed filled lives, have you had a conversation like this...

Dr. McCarthy:  ' "So tell me. What are you doing to take care of yourself" '
Allison Weiss (protagonist of All Fall Down):  ' "Nothing, really. There just isn't time." ' (p. 31)

What will happen to you if you ignore your own needs and only live to serve others and/or build your business? What will happen...?

Author Jennifer Weiner knows. All Fall Down is a cautionary tale.

When you read the words 'drug addict' do you see a vagrant with stringy hair, wearing a parka in July? 

Meet Allison Weiss--she's a wife, a mother, and a businesswoman. 

Overcome by 'the accumulated stress of a mostly successful, extremely busy life' (p. 9) Allison turns to something that will help her cope.
'The pills calmed me down... When I swallowed them, I felt like I could accomplish anything.' (p. 22)
I witnessed Allison's swift descent into drug dependency--as she takes first two, then four, then six pills to help her cope, to keep her afloat.

Author Jennifer Weiner applies all the senses and I truly felt what Allison goes through--I'm overwhelmed, I'm in need, I'm dependent, I'm ill. It isn't pretty. I see dependency plainly. I'm there.
'My skin felt like it was host to hundreds of thousands of fiery ants wearing boots made of poison-tipped needles.' (p. 216)
The message is clear:  Never get so busy that you forget your own needs. You need to listen to yourself, care for yourself--the same way you care for others. Because you can never tell if you are 'one of the earthlings, who could take or leave a glass of wine, or a joint, or a...; or one of the Martians, for was too many and a thousand was never enough. You can never tell.' (p. 358 - 359) 

Visit author Jennifer Weiner's website.