The affinity of writers to liquor is legendary, even a cliché. Departing from the usual, New York Times columnist Scoblic presents a memoir of her happy sobriety.
The author’s coming-of-age story follows her life on the wagon now, as well as dates with old John Barleycorn in the past. She tells of losing her sobriety and yielding, in her youth, to the likes of Jack Daniels, Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan. The young drinker from a secure home in upstate New York began her tipsy ways in high school. She became a Columbia undergrad and law-school dropout working, in those days, for the New Republic and, later, during her more drunken days, for Reader’s Digest. Scoblic saw herself as hip and cool, but despite toxic girlfriends and reckless guys, the parties were really miserable. Then, one clear day, she declared her independence from her addiction to alcohol. The conversion to teetotalism included, as Scoblic reports, her own 12-step dance, some overeating, odd spending sprees and a bit of financial distress. As she climbed out of the bottle, she learned how to depart from corporate happy hours and how to deal with the real world, and she found understanding and supportive love and marriage. Whether she writes of being manhandled by Maker’s Mark or offers her frank take on theological matters, Scoblic’s testament to life on the wagon is pertinent and raffish, marked by considerable candor and humor.
A dryly witty, spirited memoir of an abandoned life of drink and what it might have cost.