In Drinking: A Love Story Caroline Knapp writes about the challenges of balancing life and work as a high-functioning alcoholic. Knapp was an award-winning journalist, an Ivy League graduate from a well-to-do New England family and by all appearances a happy, healthy and successful young woman. But drinking had slowly taken hold of her life, and she was desperate to conceal its effects.
She describes herself as “smooth and ordered on the outside; roiling and chaotic and desperately secretive underneath, but not noticeably so, never noticeably so.”
Eventually a string of personal calamities forces our narrator to examine how alcohol is ruining her life and how she must learn to live without this particular love affair between alcohol and herself blighting her life.
Knapp’s book is crucial in proving that the stereotypical image of an alcoholic – someone who is down and out – is mendacious. Lots of alcoholics have very prominent roles in society, and Knapp was one of them. She speaks with total honesty about her relationship with alcohol and the negative impacts it had on her life even though she couldn’t tear herself away from it.
Knapp writes with considerable clarity and depth about the psyche of the addicted. This is highly recommended reading.