This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.
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.”