Drinking Games: A Memoir

St. Martin’s. Jan. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781250280589. $28.99. MEMOIR
Levy, a high achiever, wanted to smother out her anxiety and body image issues, so she relied on alcohol as both confidence booster and coping mechanism—until she hit a crisis point. Her account of her drinking and its resulting blackouts, destruction of friendships, and consumption of her life is honest and smart. It stands out in the genre of sobriety memoirs. Its collected-essay structure results in some repetition and vagueness of time, and Levy doesn’t dwell much on the challenges of remaining sober, choosing instead to focus on the positives that sobriety has brought to her life. But people who find solace in these narratives or seek a reflection of their experiences will appreciate the bravery, humor, and grace with which the author writes about one of the darkest parts of her life. There’s a particular effectiveness to her exploration of the ways drinking culture permeates the spaces in lives and interactions.
VERDICT A good choice for those seeking personal narratives of experiences of alcoholism in the 21st century; readers who appreciate stand-alone chapters instead of a more linear narrative will likely find it especially effective.
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