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Quit Like A Woman: A Book Review

Several months before I made the decision to have a dry January to see how #soberlife would work for me, I had pre-ordered Quit Like A Woman by Holly Whitaker. The book was to explore the concept of why alcohol is so prevalent in our culture and Holly's journey into sobriety.

This review is entirely my personal opinion and may not jive with everyone, and that's okay. 

My hope when I purchased this book was to get a better idea of why it seems alcohol is so ingrained in our daily lives. I felt like over the past several years, so many local events have become fueled by alcohol, otherwise, folks wouldn't attend or pay money to attend. Especially those catering more toward women. You have yoga classes at a brewery, social gatherings always seem to have alcohol, and I'm involved with a group that seems to have the inability to meet if beer is not part of the equation. All in all, I wanted a personal look as to why alcohol seems to be a necessity, like air, rather than something that isn't crucial to our existence.

My challenge is that I am a person who has occasionally overindulged in alcohol, but I am not and was never the person who went out every weekend and got shitfaced. My challenge with any book at this point, that talks about sobriety is that they all seem more catered to the folks who drink large amounts much more frequently.

I am a person who wanted to examine their relationship with alcohol and I knew that alcohol wasn't affecting my daily life to the degree that it does some folks. I knew that reading about sobriety I would be challenged to find a book that would resonate with me 100% due to my lack of drinking excessively.

Overall, I feel like the book was an interesting read, but I felt a bit challenged with how much I felt it bounced around from one topic to the next. It was neat to get some history on the alcohol culture and how it was established, but I never really had what I would consider an "Ahha!" moment. I found the discussion about how AA was established to be interesting and why it might not be a program that all women would respond to or resonate with.

All in all, I felt I was looking for something more of a personal story, and I kept reading hoping to find it and it just didn't exist. I think along the lines of the book, I was anticipating more of an emotional memoir than something that ended up being quite factual. Not that presenting research is a bad thing, but how it was mixed in with the personal bits made it difficult for me to read and stay interested. When I say I put forth my best effort into finishing the book, I truly mean it. I was on the proverbial struggle bus when it came to finishing the book.

When it comes to Holly working on her sobriety, I could see it being something that privileged white women can resonate with more than POC and those who may not have a large, disposable income. All of the specialty yoga classes and the non-insurance-accepting therapists do not fit in the picture with (I think) a vast majority of folks. I for one would not be able to go to therapy if my insurance didn't cover it, because the last time I went (and insurance helped) it was expensive. While I think it's great that Holly used some alternative methods to aid in her sobriety journey, not all would be able to afford that luxury.

It is not a book that I 100% regret purchasing, but in the same breath, I wish I had waited until after it had come out to read reviews on it first to see if it would be something that would resonate with me and what I was hoping to experience in a book about sobriety. Had I waited, I very likely would not have purchased it.  Overall, it left me feeling like I had somehow missed something when it wasn't there to begin with.

Perhaps this book is best suited to someone who truly struggles with or has struggled with alcoholism, I'm not sure. It wasn't a story I could really relate to, tho it did give some interesting bits to think about and consider. I would suggest reading reviews on the book first before making the purchase, or perhaps if you know someone who bought the book, borrow it vs. purchase it.


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