Original Sins

Hanover Square. Jul. 2022. 288p. ISBN 9781335469571. $27.99. MEMOIR
Hill’s heart-wrenching, emotional tale begins with a sordid account of his drug use at the funeral of a close friend before he takes readers back in time to his childhood as the son of an evangelical Baptist preacher and his devout wife. The piety of the Hill household hid the dysfunction and unhappiness of both parents from outsiders, but Hill and his three siblings were immersed in the deeply unhappy life of their parents. As they grew up, each in turn rejected their parents’ faith, and Hill’s rejection took the form of atheism and drugs. His experimentation with alcohol quickly turned to other drugs, including cocaine and his preferred drug, heroin. Hill’s struggles with heroin in particular led to many overdoses and at least one attempt at self-harm, leading to six weeks of treatment. Hill chronicles his attempts to get and stay clean along with his efforts to rebuild relationships with estranged family members. This compulsively readable book shines a light on the devastating results of the opioid pandemic that exists not just in Hill’s native Wales, but also in the U.S.
VERDICT This is an exceptionally well-written and heartfelt memoir.
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