After years of settling into the comfortable family life she always wanted, Jorie Asher made a decision to improve her physical health and well-being. She thought her life would be perfect if she no longer had to struggle with her weight. Instead, Jorie discovered how ill-prepared she was to face the anguish of her past, and the resulting truth of life in a body she doesn't recognize.
Mistakes and disillusions sink Jorie into the darkest period of her life. When forced to face the consequences of her choices, she blocks out the world. Jorie has no idea how to be...her. Supported by those in her life who had been at the same bottom, she begins to fight her way back. But how hard is Jorie willing to push to gain the peace that has always eluded her? What and who must be sacrificed for her own serenity?
Author: Angel Lepire
Title: Trading Poisons
Genre: Fiction >Addiction>substance abuse
Publication Date: January 2013
My Review: 4 out of 5 stars I liked it.
Hmmm.... so I wonder if it is a coincidence that so many of the books I have reviewed recently, I have found myself relating to? While I can't relate specifically with Jorie (I have never suffered from overeating, substance abuse, or infidelity), I have been on the other end. I have been one of the "victims" in what people love to refer to as "victimless behaviors" ie. addiction/substance abuse and let me tell you, it is NOT pretty. Most people don't want to admit they have a problem and if they have an inkling that they could be hurting those who love them, well they typically just drown it out further with their addiction... such a vicious cycle.
The probation officer in me really liked the story and the message. I am not a stranger to these types of afflictions and the impact they can have on everyone left in their path of destruction. I think the author painted a clear picture of how life altering addictions, in any form, can be. I liked her use of addiction transfer. I think it portrays the importance of treatment, solid support systems.. or any organized outlet when dealing with addiction. I saw first hand how destructive addiction transfer can be and not everyone comes to terms with their choices or their behavior.
The story moved quickly for me and there were definitely times I was glued to the pages... but not because I was a fan of Jorie - I was actually appalled by her behavior. At one point (I cannot say too much because I stand true to my *no spoilers*) I had a case of word vomit in front of my unsuspecting husband... poor guy. He just looked at me stunned and I just simply smiled and held up my Nook. He's pretty familiar with my rantings... and this time was no different. Jorie as a character was well written with some serious demons in her closet that for some reason she continued feeding. I hated so many of her choices, but still found myself wanting her to be happy, wanting her to overcome her issues, and wanting her to find peace.
The avid reader in me was happy with the ending. It wrapped up nicely and didn't leave anything hanging or unanswered. I was so happy that the author shared the first major obstacle in Jorie's life... what I am guessing led to her first addiction- food. This emotion was real and opened your eyes to how long she had struggled with guilt and the hate she had for herself.
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever suffered addiction, known someone who has suffered addiction, or who simply wants to understand the reality of what addiction can do. A great read, a great debut novel.