Last week I wrote that fiction can reach behind fact and put clothes on a true story.
This week a reader wrote to me of the connection she felt with one of our crime novels, and her experience echoed readers of another of our crime novels.
I thought our crime novels were simply about crime. They tell stories of bad things done and the detectives try to solve those bad things.
Hear Me by Julia North involves a murder. Who Killed Anne-Marie? is not such so straight forward. However, the interesting aspect of both novels for many readers has not been deaths. Rather, it is the authors’ depictions of alcoholism.
Who Killed Anne-Marie? tells of a marriage where one partner is an alcoholic. As police try to piece together the events that led to a death, for many readers, alcoholism is the story that grips.
From reviewers:
“If you have ever had experience with an alcoholic, this book is difficult to read. There is no holding back, the descriptions are dead on and difficult to swallow.”
"Excellent in-depth understanding of alcoholics and how their psychology affects those around them.”
Hear Me concerns Lissa who signs herself into a rehab clinic after one particularly toe-curling drunken night (the curling toes were mine – I truly felt for her). But it is in the rehab centre that things really go awry for Lissa.
This weekend, I received an email from one US reader:
I have read many books about my addiction but not many I can relate to, this one I can. We alcoholics are very varied & although we all suffer a common cause, the reasons we do are very varied. This book is very honest & deals with the many problems we create for ourselves & our loved ones. Alcoholism is very much a disease of denial & our refusal to accept we have a problem stops our progress towards recovery until we accept the truth about ourselves. I would strongly suggest that anyone who feels they might have a problem read this book & look at the similarities & not look for differences. Always remember, you are not alone & others who want to help you will not judge you as harsh as you judge yourself. In AA I have heard many horrific stories, not unlike the woman in this book degrading herself with the sleazy guy from the bar.”
Fiction is powerful, but this reader’s perspective is humbling.