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4.8 out of 5 stars
Sober is the New Black: A Then and Now Account of Life Beyond Booze
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
I only give five star reviews to books which are life-changing. I also think that too many five star reviews on a book looks suspiciously like croneyism. But I did feel that this was a very good book, and should be read by anyone worried that alcohol might be taking centre stage in their lives.

This book shows very effectively how alcohol can insidiously, destructively and completely take over a life. Throughout it powerfully juxtaposes events in the author's life--business conferences, family holidays, book club meetings--when she was drinking, and after she stopped. There's always a risk with this sort of personal memoir that it can become egocentric and dull, but this one avoids that on two counts. First, because Rachel will resonate with so many readers as a typical working mother, someone they can relate to. Second, because it doesn't go too deeply into aspects of her life (we never learn the names of her children or her Other Half, or what job she does) and stays firmly focussed on the subject of alcohol.

I particularly liked the metaphor where the author compares lifelong abstinence with her mortgage. Both are burdens which look huge and terrifying when viewed as a whole, but are manageable and life-affirming on a day-to-day basis.

The book well written, interesting and not overlong, but for me its best feature is the overriding optimism and delight on every page. If it has one message, it's that the sober life is wonderful (I fully endorse that). Rachel was evidently taken by surprise to find how much better everything, from social events to Christmas, is when you're not focussing solely on wine and how to drink as much of it as possible without anyone noticing. That brightness and assurance shines throughout the book and lifts it above other "sobriety memoirs". In fact, I would say that it should be required reading for anyone starting their journey to an alcohol-free life, because it will reassure them that not only is it something they have to do, but the rewards are considerable, and almost immediate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2014
It was most helpful to me to read a book which seemed to document my own relationship with wine, something that I drink daily despite vowing not to each morning. I feel inspired to follow the tips and example laid out in the book and am starting to believe I can do this. Thank you Rachel!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 30 April 2014
Fantastic book, can't recommend it enough. The author is someone I could really relate to and was the best book I've read on the subject of drinking. It really helped me quit for good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2014
This book was so easy to read. I loved the fact that the author didn't over-dramtise the lows or the highs. I find some people who write about these topics put the fear of God in to the tale. An honest and practical take on addiction/habit. I found the her writing on her recovery really motivating and not at all preachy or over the top. Just got the feeling through the whole book that this is someone I could relate to.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 May 2014
Great Book, Very well written, I could have been reading about myself, I have made a conscious decision to stop drinking after many years of dithering about it whilst knowing my habit had got out of hand, so now I am plowing through as many of these 'drinking' books as I can find, and this one has been really inspiring to me, it's still early days for me but I will re-read this book many, many times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2014
Truly inspirational. A light that shines at the end of a very dark and scary tunnel. Rachel is very honest, very candid and very clear about the pros and cons of embarking on such a hard journey. She doesn't promise you the moon on a stick, she just tells it like it is, and in so doing, she truly gives you hope. Absolutely brilliant and highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 April 2014
This book reaches out to any of us who have ever struggled with alcohol, and the effects of drinking too much. Rachel write from the heart and has such an engaging style, the book is impossible to put down. I was with her on the journey and all the while saying, yes that's me, and so is that. Excellent read and highly recommended.
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on 18 June 2015
This book made such a difference to me. I could relate to so much of it, Rachel Black is a fantastic writer, she's able to put into words what I just couldn't explain to my husband, nor fully make sense of myself. My husband has benefited immensely from reading it too and has a much better understanding of what I'm going through. There are so many tips and suggestions on how to live sober AND enjoy your life. The 'then and now' scenarios are invaluable to look at the huge benefits of not drinking. I was stuck in a rut before reading this book, stuck between two lives, the one when I drank and this one where I don't drink, not belonging fully to either. Rachel has shared her hugely personal story here and it's made me feel like I'm not alone..and that I can do this, and my life will be much better. It already is. If you're worried about the way you are drinking then read this book. Thank you Rachel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 January 2015
Great read . Read as many as you need to read in your journey to staying sober . These authors are here to help you and I ..Good luck to YOU ..the reader of this review ! you're here reading this because you know you have a problem as do I , so go for it , we're all rooting for you XX
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 2014
I chose the 5 star rating as the book is beautifully written and is very true to my own situation. Rachel has inspired me to give up alcohol for the very same reasons as she herself gave up.
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