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Sober Heart: Life and Love in Recovery
a collection of essays that together comprise a memoir of one woman's experiences with addiction and recovery
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 7.75 out of 10


Idea: Lerner's bite-sized essays deliver wisdom via vulnerable anecdotes and quietly lyrical confessions. Though their brief length makes them feel at times like incomplete thoughts, the work resonates with emotional candor.

Prose: The clear and compelling prose comes across as an intimate letter from a close friend who can assess problematic situations clearly and prescribe solutions in a quick and satisfying manner. That it's the author accounting for her own foibles, affords the memoir particular power and grace.

Originality: The author focuses on an often-parodied character of a mom who loves wine too much, affording the subject personality and dimension, while shining a light on the toxic environment addiction creates even in middle class settings. Lerner movingly captures the motivations that lead to substance abuse.

Execution: Lerner writes in a reflective, genuine manner that relays the author's particular past mistakes, while providing a generally relatable, poignant narrative within the present.

Date Submitted: October 02, 2019