Has anyone here dealt with alcoholism? Or had a family member/friend that suffers from alcoholism? It's a very difficult thing to talk about and even harder to write about, especially if you yourself experienced it. In Stones by Polly Johnson, Jackson explores the hardships of alcoholism and while it may tear families apart, it may make them closer as well.
Pub. Date: December 9th, 2013
Coo is trying to cope with the hand that life has dealt her. At sixteen, she feels she’s too young to have lost her older brother, Sam, to alcoholism. She’s skipping school to avoid the sympathy and questions of her friends and teachers, and shunning her parents, angry that they failed to protect her, and desperate to avoid having to face the fact that, towards the end, she began to wish Sam would leave forever – even die. Then, one day, truanting by the Brighton seafront, Coo meets Banks, a homeless alcoholic and she’s surprised to discover that it is possible for her life to get more complicated.Despite warnings from her friends and family, Coo and Banks develop an unlikely friendship. Brought together through a series of unexpected events, strange midnight feasts, a near drowning and the unravelling of secrets, together they seek their chance for redemption. That is, until Coo’s feelings start getting dangerously out of hand.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stones!
My recommendation: Anyone who wants to read a book about dealing with family that has alcoholism.
My copy was provided by Netgalley.
Coo has a lot of stress in her life and she's finding it hard to care about life after her brother died. After her brother died due to alcoholism, she lost her will to carry on with her life. She wallows in her grief, never moving on, keeping the grief raw inside her. She skips school to get away from it at and on one of these outings, she meets Banks. Through Banks, Coo sees her brother, but in a better way. Banks is not like her brother when he's drunk. Even though Banks is an alcoholic with no home and hardly ever washes, Coo trusts him. She trusts him even though attacks have sprung out around town on women. The only clue is that these women smelled something odd.
But while Coo's friendship with Banks grows, they learn of the problems they both have inside. They both suffer and they both want to move on, but they're not sure how. With each other to hold onto, maybe they can find a way to let go of their grief.
I felt so sympathetic towards Coo and I can understand her anger and her grief. She just lost her brother and she wants to feel the pain, the guilt, so that she can't forget her brother even when he was mean to her. Her emotions really made this book alive. The whole book was brimming with her pain and it was interesting to see how Coo acted upon her feelings.
It was a very emotional read and these emotions stayed with me long after I read this book. It made me glad that I still have my brother and that no family of mine suffers from alcoholism. I can never fully understand Coo's pain, but this book enabled me into a glimpse of a world I'm terrified of ever entering.
I really liked the relationship between Coo and Banks. It felt real and not like it was built on lies. Coo would do anything to help Banks even when he didn't want to help himself. She would encourage him not to give up and I really felt for Coo right there. She didn't give up on Banks and this helped her realize that she herself needed to help herself to move on.
The ending was bit unhappy for my liking. I thought it would be happy and give me a satisfying conclusion, but it seemed more depressed than the beginning of the book. Nothing seemed to be resolved and it seemed to leave a bunch of things unfinished.
I really enjoyed this and the emotions it made me feel. It made me feel as if I were Coo and I hope I never have to face the problems she faced in the book.