KEEPING SECRETS by Suzanne Somers
Kirkus Star

KEEPING SECRETS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A family's epic recovery from alcoholism, fearlessly well-told. TV-star Somers reveals the ravages of low self-esteem and the life of constant crisis that resulted from her being the adult child of an alcoholic parent. Dad was felled by his job as a loader of beer cases onto transports, which allowed him free beer all day long and low-priced cases for home consumption. Somers withholds none of the vileness and obscenity he lavished onto her older sister Maureen, herself, her mother, and her two brothers, Bill and young Michael. All trembled as Dad raged, broke furniture, spewed abuse. It was himself he hated, but the family didn't know that and conspired to hide their humiliation and keep Dad's illness a secret. When Seiners left the house at last to live on her own, she thought She'd left the horror behind. Instead, conditioned by her father's insanity, she turned into a moneyless crisis-seeker and liar whose secrets turned back on her with fearful verve. She became pregnant in high school by a college lover. Early marriage was no help. She loved her son, Bruce, Jr., passionately. In imitation of her father, she fell into crisis upon crisis, adultery, divorce. She entered a modeling career and met the great love of her life, a married man with two children. Then her son was crushed by a car, survived, but left her with a $15,000 hospital bill. She went into therapy and her seven-year affair was shown to be an example of the crippling low self-worth blueprinted onto her spirit by her father's disease. Eventually, the whole family sank under booze (Dad stayed blotto for 35 years!) but at last all got into 12-step programs--AA and Alanon--leading to a mass triumph over alcohol and an emotional epiphany at story's end, when Somers introduces her entire blighted but recovering family to the audience attending her Vegas opening. Help for millions of Americans who don't drink but fight the invisible octopus of alcoholic low self-worth. A winner.

Pub Date: Jan. 25th, 1987
Publisher: Warner