Reread – Blackout: Remembering the things I drank to forget – Sarah Hepola

I have read quite a few ‘quit lit’ books over the past few years. Spurred on by the fact that I read Jill Stark’s book earlier in the year, I felt it was time to revisit Sarah Hepola’s book and share my thoughts.

Synopsis: For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was the fuel for all her adventures.  She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call.

Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birth right as a strong, enlightened, 21st-century career woman.  But there was a price.  She often blacked out, waking up with blank spaces where four hours should be.  Mornings became detective work on her own life – what did I say last night?  Who was that guy? Where am I?Blackout is a memoir of unblinking honesty, with poignant, laugh-out-loud humour.  It’s the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure – the sober life she never wanted.  It’s also about giving up the thing you cherish and getting yourself back in return.

The book opens: I’m in Paris on a magazine assignment, which is exactly as great as it sounds.

‘The best kind of memoir, fiercely funny, full of hard-won wisdom’ – Emily Rapp

My thoughts:

But I wanted my own stories, and I understood drinking to the be the gasoline of all adventure.  The best evenings were the ones you might regret.

It is hard to know where to start when describing my thoughts on Sarah Hepola’s book.  It does launch straight into the topic from the first chapter in a rather dramatic way, but I think that is the point.  She finds herself in a hotel room with a man who she doesn’t remember as she used to suffer from blackouts after drinking alcohol.  This is one such episode and there are many others.

In the early stages of her book she covers the back story of how she came to drink alcohol, which is a powerful read.

She reaches a point where she decides that she has to stay sober.

I found her journey very moving and most interesting.

This review is indeed short and sweet.  All I would add is that it is well worth reading.  I’m certainly glad I have. It is definitely a keeper and I am glad I chose to delve back in this week.

Published by – Two Roads – an imprint of John Murray Press

About the author: Sarah Hepola is the author of the bestselling Blackout and whatever she happens to write next. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times magazine, Elle, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Guardian,  Salon, and Texas Monthly, where she is a writer-at-large.

I was sent a review copy by the publisher.