Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote in bookish,
Hemning Sternberg

Sober for Good by Anne M. Fletcher

This is the second book in my "models of alcohol addiction" thematic arc, which started with Face to Face.

In Sober for Good, Fletcher interviews a number of people she calls "masters" of sobriety - folks who have been sober for more than five years, in some cases twenty or more. She tells their stories and compares their approaches. Her chief conclusions are that people do not all get sober the same way, and that we do much better when we are given choices about how to handle our problems. She recommends that you "try, try again" if you have a problem with alcohol. She disproves (at least anecdotally) several popular theories of sobriety, such as "one drink, one drunk," "you have to hit rock bottom before you can get better" and "only God can help you stop drinking." She reviews the many roads to recovery and helps the reader decide which one might suit them well.

I think this is a really good book. It is comprehensive and does not bash any groups - it just talks frankly about their benefits and drawbacks, and the importance of finding a fit that is good for you. In some places toward the end, it felt a little too orderly - here's a characteristic that some masters said was important, here are five examples, here's the next characteristic and five more examples - but the emphasis stayed on "this worked for some people - do what works for you - get support you feel comfortable with" which I thought was great. Four stars. If you have a problem with alcohol, or have a loved one who does, but aren't sure what to do about it, or feel like a conventional approach might not fit the bill, reading this book would be a great place to start.
Tags: genre: non-fiction

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