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All Fall Down Paperback – 28 August 2014
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About the Author
- ASIN : 1471136752
- Publisher : Simon & Schuster; Paperback Original edition (28 August 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781471136757
- ISBN-13 : 978-1471136757
- Item Weight : 280 g
- Dimensions : 13 x 2.59 x 19.81 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #429,445 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from India
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For me, at the age where I have adult children, I enjoyed seeing what it's like for these people in their late 30s, early 40s. And I like Weiner's voice: it's funny, sometimes snarky, feminist, and down-to-earth. I wish she were old enough to write about people my age (60 and above).
Minor spoiler alert: You may want to skip the next paragraph.
Two mild negatives: unless I missed it, nothing was said about the husband's selfishness which was definitely a factor in driving Allison to her pill addiction. Also, I wondered how Allison supported herself at the end of the book, since there was no mention of the job.
But having enjoyed this story so much, I plan to look back and see what other books of Weiner's I may have missed.
You know that analogy about the duck gliding serenely across the surface of the water - but what you can't see is how fast its feet are moving under the water? Well that is Allison Weiss's life.
On the surface she has it all - a beautiful home, a handsome husband, an adorable daughter and a very successful career as a blogger.
But lately her husband Dave has become distant, her daughter Ellie has behaviour issues, their house still looks like they just moved in, there are financial worries, her father has onset dementia, her mother isn't coping and the pressure to produce for the blog is all adding to the stress and pressure in Allison's life. The answer? A pill, or two, or three....
"Not one thing, but dozens of them, piling up against one another until the pills became less a luxury than a necessity for getting myself through the day and falling asleep at night."
While waiting to see the pediatrician, she idly fills out a magazine questionnaire and realizes...But she's not an addict, right? She can control it. And cut back if she wants to. Right?
As Weiner's tale unravels, so does Allie's life. The reader can empathize with her busy life and her stressors and can almost....but not quite, buy her rationalizations. And we can only watch as Allie's life mirrors that roller coaster on the cover and plunges downward.
Allison is not always a likable character - and that's to be expected given her situation. But I did like her voice. The supporting cast was a mixed bag. I thought Allie's mother's story was just as heartbreaking and telling. I was disappointed in Dave - he had suspicions of what was going on with Allie, but chose to not 'push' the issue, until things were far beyond the point of no return. I quite enjoyed Ellie's CAPITAL pronouncements.
What's frightening is that this book is not so far removed from the truth. Addiction doesn't always take place in a back alley in a bad part of town. I thought the ending was perfect - because life rarely is.
While Weiner's earlier books had more of a 'chick lit' feel to them, her later works tackle more serious subjects - contemporary women, their issues, emotions, thoughts and modern day life. She does it with warmth, humour, compassion and a sense of reality.
Top reviews from other countries
I guess the emphasis of this book was that Addiction can quite literally happen to anyone - even a middle aged wife and mother with a career. A sensible message but not particularly well written.
The turning point of this story arrives through an unexpected path, upon which she finds out how low she has fallen. Like so many other Jennifer Weiner's stories, the meaning of the classic American virtue, self-reliance is explored through her heroines' strength to re-define themselves in new contexts, when they encounters horrible crises; The abstractness of the idea of maturity disperses, as the ladies come to a realization that they can alter their situations, by accepting both their history as well as the prospect that they could fall into a pitfall another time. However they are much better equipped mentally, if a new round of crisis come across.