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Davis' novel is raw and disturbing, yet we keep reading, spurred by the clarity of the writing and intensity of the description. Davis offers a completely believable picture of one woman's decline and helplessness. She makes us feel we are inside Colleen's skin, guaranteeing our empathy. As a writer, Davis has the rare ability to mine her own experience and create fiction from what she palpably understands. It is an enviable talent and her novel allows those of us who have never been there to grasp the hell of being an addict, of how sorry things can get when we waste our lives. The Empty Roomis scary in places, touching, and often sad. It is a great psychological portrait of a woman under the influence. The Toronto Star
From the Author
Truly this is a novel of the absolute highest literary quality. Davis has been long-listed for The Giller Prize before. If The Empty Room does not make it at least that far, I will eat my pen. Hubert O'Hearn, By the Book Reviews
Lauren B. Davis is a brilliant writer, able to bring the reader not only to witness to the wreck that is Colleen Kerrigan's life, but have us experience it along with her. Rare are the books that have taken me on such a gut wretching journey. As a person in recovery myself, this story brought me back in time with its incredibly accurate portrayal of fear, emotional upheaval, denial and lack of control. I could actually feel the hangovers and at times dizziness as they were described.The glimpse inside Colleen's mind was terrifying and I found myself wanting desperately for her to find the help she needed. This story made me feel grateful for the human spirit and its capacity for compassion and generosity...and for all those mysterious coincidences that often come together to bring grace and healing. Coincidentally, I was reading this as a friend is diving towards her own dark bottom. I have recommended this book to others who are trying to help this friend. A very powerful read for anyone wanting to understand the hold of addiction: cunning, baffling, and powerful indeed!
I blew through this book in a day and suffered as I watched. Davis describes things extremely vividly - unfortunately it's not even over the top: it's the reality of how bad we can make things. Sometimes the mind wants the booze sometimes the body clamours for it. The result is the same. I will read more of her stuff and follow her career.
One of the most compelling and riveting books I've read... ever... As I started reading The Empty Room... I quickly became aware of the depth of tragedy in which the protagonist was wallowing. And I had to hit a hard pause. But, like the protagonist, I just had to pick up again... then stop..again...then start..again... until I couldn't stop... (the book had become addictive...) And it was a page turner... But the ending.. oh my... the tear is still in my soul... Thank you Lauren Davis..
If your an alcoholic like me, you won't be able to put down this book because you need to know the end. If your not sure if your an alcoholic but some passages really resonate in your soul, help yourself and get some support. One day at a time.
This is not my first nor last read by Ms. Davis. I find her writing to reign me in right from the beginning. I found The Empty Room to be quite powerful, gripping and enlightening. A superb read and I highly recommend for any person trying to understand the complexity of addiction and recovery.