IN THE WEATHER OF THE HEART by Valerie Monroe

IN THE WEATHER OF THE HEART

A Memoir of a Shattered Marriage and a Reckoning with Recovery
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 This ably written memoir by writer and magazine editor Monroe (Ms., Mirabella) details her struggle to cope with her husband Keith's drug addiction. In 1985, Keith's twin brother, Brian, killed himself: He was addicted to cocaine and unable to shake the habit. Valerie only noticed Keith's dependence on his prescription migraine medicine after Brian's death. A doctor confirmed that he was addicted to cocaine, as well. Keith was attempting to be closer to his dead brother in the only way he knew how: by sharing his addiction. With his admission to rehab, an agonizingly painful process began. Keith was weaned away from his drugs, learned to deal with his depression, and worked with his wife to rebuild their trust in each other and their marriage. Valerie reluctantly attended family therapy and Al-Anon meetings. Initially wary of 12-step philosophy and jargon, she came to accept it as a way to understand herself and her husband; after she spoke in front of a group, she writes, ``I felt as if the group were holding my story--which allowed me to loosen my own hold on it, let them have it a little, and gave me the opportunity to see it as they might see it.'' She writes frankly of her anger, and of her resentment when Keith showed little gratitude for her love and support. But gradually, the two came to understand that they needed to, and could, change themselves and their marriage: They had to accept the fact that the people they had fallen in love with years earlier were gone- -replaced by sometimes sadder but eventually wiser selves. Despite the occasional overuse of recovery jargon, this is a vivid account of love and forgiveness in a marriage.

Pub Date: July 9th, 1996
ISBN: 0-385-47103-3
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1996