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Stark detail, arresting honesty and a frenetic timeline permeate a woman’s painful recovery from a life of childhood abuse and drug dependency.

Pierrot says she wrote this memoir for readers “who love a good train wreck,” and the Texan’s life has definitely been a turbulent one. After undergoing abuse as a child, she was burdened by low self-esteem, wasting “a lot of time and opportunity thinking I was not enough.” In her adult life, one messy, short-lived marriage to olive-skinned Noel led into a physically abusive relationship with Rashid, and then on to Daniel and further transgressions, which eventually plunged her into a dark chasm of codependency, drug and sex addiction. Al-Anon and psychotherapy sessions jointly provided a safe haven from the author’s self-destructive downward spiral–she finally managed to forgive her parents and began to love herself again. Pierrot is an eccentric writer–at certain crossroads in the narrative, she addresses readers directly, asking if they want to continue or just skip forward to chapters more suited to their individual tastes. The book is split into separate sections (“Poster Child,” “The Road Map to Joy” and “Cast Iron Butterfly”) which lightly thread together each radically different period in her life. But as the book meanders along, Pierrot’s deeply felt yet choppy narrative flits between past and present, pain and enlightenment, and soon becomes mired in exposition and an overabundance of platitudes. The author redeems herself with an update describing how she’s currently living free of the chains of emotional and chemical dependency–her liberation takes on a particular urgency that leavens the overly hyperactive delivery. Ending on a high note, the book notes that Pierrot’s present work as a life coach enriches both her clients’ lives and her own, as a stable, happily married mother.

A woeful life revitalized by faith, love, perseverance and the anonymous rooms of recovery.

Pub Date: May 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4196-5833-4
Program: Kirkus Indie
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