The Sun is Gone

A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free

Non-Fiction - Memoir
274 Pages
Reviewed on 05/03/2017
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Author Biography

I am a daughter, sister, wife, mom, friend and neighbor. But what most do not know is that I was hiding a painful secret. I am also the daughter, step-daughter, grand-daughter, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, niece, great-niece, aunt and cousin to alcoholics.

Nothing impacted me more than when my younger brother Brett became addicted to alcohol; another branch on our family tree. Adding sister to the long list that follows my name.

This is unlike other stories of its kind-this is the WHOLE story of addiction, not a partial glimpse. Beginning with a traumatic childhood past that changed who we would be forever. My love for him, and his dependence on me would last us a lifetime and almost destroy us both.

This is for the lost families. Tired, scared, broken and feeling alone. Someone out there knows how you feel.

hugs, Jodeee

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

What an irony! We live in a society that encourages us to drink and thinks we’re weird or something’s wrong with us when we decline the invitation to have “one more drink before you go?” Yet, we look with disgust on dishevelled drunks, passed out on city streets with empty bottles as their only companions. This is the irony and heartache that Jodee Prouse grew up with, lived half her life with, and explores in The Sun is Gone, a must-read book for anyone who fears the devastating damage alcoholism does to loved ones and their families.

The Sun is Gone details Jodee’s relentless efforts to save her much-loved younger brother, Brett, from his battle with the bottle. Looking at Brett’s photo at the close of the book is heartbreaking: such a handsome young man. On the surface, he had everything: good looks, a great career with excellent salary, a family and a woman who loved him, and a sister, Jodee, who, to a certain degree, risked damage to her own marriage and children to be there for her brother. What on earth was Brett’s problem? What drove him to drink, despite repeated attempts at rehabilitation, aborted efforts to attend AA, and no end of support from Jodee?

Though written as a personal effort to explain what is, perhaps, inexplicable to Jodee’s family, given the reliance on, and the overuse of alcohol as a stress-reliever in our society, The Sun is Gone has a much broader reach than just Jodee’s family. While the author provides the details of her family’s life with Brett, she often reflects on the reasons he became so dependent. One of these was a basic personality trait: he was a shy boy who became tense, anxiety-filled in difficult situations. Despite his great intelligence and skill, his fear of failure lowered his confidence and self-esteem. He repeatedly sought relief for that anxiety in the bottle. Coupled with that is the behavior and attitude typical of both alcoholics and their families: they consistently deny the problem and refuse to talk about it. As Jodee states: “I believe to this day to being able to admit to having alcoholism is what will keep a person sober. Being ashamed, hiding, pretending it is not true will wear down self-esteem creating self-loathing. Any of those things will just keep a person drunk.”

Jodee Prouse’s memoir, The Sun is Gone, should be mandatory reading for all who have the courage to admit what her family, and especially Brett could not. Perhaps by reading this poignant, sincere memoir with its very important messages, one more alcoholic will find the strength to say to their friends, families and strangers, “I am XXX and I am an alcoholic.”

Christian Sia

The Sun is Gone: A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free by Jodee Prouse is a captivating memoir that explores the perils of alcoholism in a family and one woman’s journey to freedom. From a very tender age Jodee is already aware of the pain that addiction can cause a family because she has seen it in her parents. She makes up her mind never to walk the same road. But then life is never the way we plan it to be, so she’ll find herself involved with her junior brother whom she’s vowed to protect from alcohol. The reader is introduced to a world filled with lies, machinations, addiction, great suffering in her family, and negative effects on her career. What does it take to break free from an addiction? Read further to find an unusual answer!

This is a story that will bring tears to the eyes of readers, told with pure honesty and in a clear and powerful voice. It feels like the author has the courage to stand naked before her readers, allowing them to see where she hurts, and that is the beauty of her writing - millions of readers will identify with the pain she’s borne inside her soul for many years. The Sun is Gone: A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free is a compassionate, loving, and beautiful offering to humanity, especially those fettered by the strong hands of any kind of an addiction. Jodee Prouse’s prose is excellent and she uses very vivid descriptions with passages that are emotionally insightful and moving. This is a gift to read and pass on!

Divine Zape

The Sun is Gone by Jodee Prouse is a thrilling memoir with a subject matter that is aptly captured in the subtitle: A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free. At five years old, Jodee is already aware of the ravages of alcohol; she already knows what it signifies because she sees its effects on her parents, which compels her to make the resolution to put aside any form of addiction. It is in the same spirit that she resolves to watch over her younger brother, Brett, a resolve that gets her attached intimately to her brother. This decision will lead her through thick and thin, traveling a very painful and dangerous road with her brother as he remains in the claws of his addiction. This is not just a story about addiction, but one that explores other themes such as family, suffering, relationships, and redemption.

Jodee Prouse writes with exceptional frankness and honesty, exploring the dark secrets, the pain, and the suffering in her family without mincing words. Her writing is clear and accessible, a quality that seems to inevitably flow from her confidence in sharing this life-changing and inspiring story. This story is filled with many lessons for readers, especially those who suffer from any form of addiction and it is no wonder that readers will find answers in this inspiring tale. The Sun is Gone: A Sister Lost in Secrets, Shame, and Addiction and How I Broke Free is gripping, entertaining, and excellently written to have readers turning the pages.

Holly Schmidt

Incredibly well-written memoir. Heart-wrenching details and the tragedy of the cycle of enabling is portrayed perfectly. A bravely thought out and raw depiction of a family disease.