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Posted February 12, 2013
Fury is not intended to be a book on addiction recovery but I ha
Fury is not intended to be a book on addiction recovery but I have read few books that offer a more vivid picture of the recovery process. Those who are learning to live without addiction speak of being “clean and sober.” For those who do not have to work daily to keep from returning to an active addiction, such language is foreign, if one is “clean” one is also “sober.” The reality is one is “clean” when they are not using the substance to which they are addicted, one is “sober” when they are doing “what it takes” to stay clean. In Ms. Zailckas’ first memoir, she recounts her life of binge drinking and “getting clean,” in this continuation (but one need not read the first to appreciate the second) of that account the author gives a glimpse into what it takes to be “sober.”Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Koren Zailckas meets a man through friends and began a relationship online, not meeting in person for months. Within a year of that meeting she had relocated to Brighton, UK, to live with this person. By the end of the first month there, after a heated argument, she was back to the U.S., living with her parents, irate at the young man, whom she nick named “The Lark.” Because of her anger, she decided to write her next book about anger; she had no idea that research would turn into a memoir.
The early part of the book is a bit tedious – the pace is slow and the writing sterile. It is not until she begins the process of looking at how she “played into” the events that lead to such a devastating fight that the writing begins to live, much like the author begins to “live.” She decides to enter psychotherapy and find out, first hand, about anger. Initially, she approaches therapy “as if it were a night class,” reading about anger, theories of approaches to resolving anger, family therapists who help people deal with anger and its consequences. As Alice, her very talented therapist, pushes her to look beyond the surface, the author begins to “recover” in ways that are, by turns (and all at once), amazing, painful, redeeming, shattering and clarifying. The year she spends in this process is an example of what can happen when an individual chooses to do the difficult work of making the needed changes when they realize their lives are “dysfunctional.” The moment she “gives” The Lark is name back is a powerful revelation of a person “getting it” and is a significant turning point in the author’s life.
In a book with the title “Fury,” one can expect harsh language and violence. The former is present, but not to the extent one could expect and the latter is present only in the form of emotional violence, of which there is plenty. Ms. Zailckas reports to be a Buddhist but there is a point in the story where she allows herself to believe there is a personal God, that turns out to be a painful moment. At the end of the book, the author is still furious, but that anger is no longer seen as an intruder, it has become a sometime guest who must be acknowledged.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is: learning to deal with intense emotion(s), addressing how they were parented, early in addiction recovery and/or interested to see how self-examination can lead to meaningful, healthy change.