cover image We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

Laura McKowen. New World Library, $25.95 (248p) ISBN 978-1-60868-654-4

McKowen examines her alcohol addiction in this affecting, heartfelt debut memoir. To the rest of the world, McKowen, a marathon runner and a vice president at a global marketing agency, appeared to have a great life, but behind closed doors she had an alcohol addiction that stretched back to her teenage years. McKowen writes of casual, inebriated hookups in college, one of which resulted in her getting pregnant and having an abortion. Later in life, as a single mother, she writes that “the night of my brother’s wedding, I left my four-year-old daughter alone in a hotel room overnight because I was blackout drunk.” A year later, after an exchange with her brother, she attended her first AA meeting despite her initial skepticism (“I had to believe they weren’t idiots,” she writes), then began practicing and teaching yoga. McKowen makes the case that her addiction, while incredibly painful and difficult, ultimately made her lucky by allowing her to experience an alcohol-free life. Even as she encourages others to follow her path, she acknowledges it is excruciating (“I wish I could say I never had another drink again after that meeting”) but promises it’s worth it. McKowen’s moving story will be a boon to those seeking help with addiction. (Jan.)