cover image All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Jennifer Weiner. Atria, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4516-1778-8

Bestselling author Weiner (The Next Best Thing) takes us down the slippery slope of prescription drug addiction in this page-turning saga about a working mom, Allison Weiss, who uses pills to deal with recurrent pain, not to mention life’s increasing challenges. These include being the family’s major breadwinner; raising a difficult five-year-old daughter, Ellie; helping her mother deal with her father’s worsening Alzheimer’s; and maintaining a relationship with her ever-distant husband, Dave. While Weiner covers no new territory, she makes a good case for how a well-educated, self-aware woman can become dependent on drugs through legal prescriptions. Even her closest friend, Janet, turns to something—in her case, alcohol—to take the edge off the burden of being the perfect wife and mom. Allison’s experience of rehab is what we might expect: a drab place where she “doesn’t belong,” feels superior to the staff and fellow addicts, and finds the AA philosophy off-putting and outmoded. Although the ultimate explanation for Allison’s problems is clichéd, Weiner doesn’t take Allison’s path to redemption lightly, and convincingly shows that addiction can, indeed, be overcome, but only with genuine commitment and hard, hard work. Agent: Joanna Pulcini, Joana Pulcini Literary Management. (June)