From Publishers Weekly
Following a series of memoirs detailing struggles with alcoholism (Smashed
), NPR commentator King chronicles her 20 years as an alcoholic before her family's intervention led to sobriety. Written with a New Englander's wry sense of humor, King recounts her childhood in a small New Hampshire town with her six siblings and her parents' struggle to support the family. Entering her teenage years during the '60s, King experimented with drugs and alcohol, slowly coming to crave "that warm, comforting glow." After seven years in college, King moved to Boston, where her alcoholism gained momentum in the city's many bars, and despite her dream to write she moved from one waitressing job to another, surprisingly getting her law degree while in a state of perpetual inebriation. King's tales from her Boston rooming house detail such wonders as the communal bathroom ("walls were splotched with blood") and the residents ("drunks, drug addicts, paranoid schizophrenics... [they] were a colorful lot"). The Bible verses that begin each chapter give an uneasy sense of impending proselytism, but not until the epilogue do readers discover King's Catholic faith. While entertaining and witty, this memoir offers no new revelations about an alcoholic's life and will mainly interest those sharing King's Northeast roots.
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From the Publisher
Loaded with jokes and wicked anecdotes
Parched is a big-picture kind of memoir, literary and complete. - Robin Vaughn, Boston Phoenix, 6/24/05
A remarkable story of spiritual enlightenment from the depths of alcoholism. - Bradley Quick, The Bradley Quick Show, KRLA (Los Angeles) 5/28/05
sordid drinking days
King avoids the clichés in favor of self-deprecating humor
.terrifying, and equally human. - Claire Suddath, Nashville Scene 6/23/05
It gives us all hope for embracing grace. - Arlene Helderman, National Catholic Reporter 5/20/05
King uses humor and bare-bulb honesty to describe her childhood
and the 20 years she spent drunk. - Stephanie Bouchard, Maine Sunday Telegram 7/3/05
Its a story about a good girl gone bad - gone good. "Parched,"
lays naked her 18 years wrapped in drugs and alcohol: sweet memories, toilet rims and all. - Jeanné McCartin, Portsmouth Herald 7/11/05
Through her gift of words, she is a living suggestion of the potential each of us has for knowing happiness precisely because we thirst. - Fr. James Behrens, OCSO, Our Journey Toward Happiness, Monastery of the Holy Spirit 6/14/05
Poignant, painfully honest and inspirational true story of her 20-year struggle with alcoholism. - Gay City News (New York), 6/23/05