When Loose Girl author Kerry Cohen reached her early 40s, she realized she had a drinking problem. Yes, she could get up on time, bring her kids to school, make dinner, chat with friends, and all around have a normal day, but, throughout it all, Kerry was waiting for her five o’clock glass of wine. Maybe two glasses. Maybe a bottle. Just enough to blur the edges of her life that had become a monotony of vacuuming, carpooling, and disagreements with her husband. Kerry had replaced one addiction with another, instead of seeking sex she was seeking merlot. Instead of intimacy, she craved the fuzziness of a nice buzz.

What she also realized was: she wasn’t the only one.

LUSH is a gripping memoir that examines Kerry’s struggle with alcohol, a struggle that a rising number of middle-aged women are facing today as alcohol dependency amongst females drastically increases. A wonderfully poignant and relatable follow up to her memoir Loose Girl, LUSH follows Kerry as she attempts to rediscover the awe in her life, leaving past mistakes, regrets, and the bottle behind.

My Thoughts: With a story that was honest and gritty, revealing all the least flattering aspects of her life, the author of Lush kept me gripped with its intensity. I could not stop following her battles and conflicts, and discovering how she eventually chose a new path.

I could especially relate to how feeling unloved and unlovable drove her choices, leading to situations in which she was more likely to feel those feelings.

Since she is obviously an intelligent and educated woman, I liked how she described the struggles and how she eventually chose to take an unpopular path. With all the hoopla about the disease of alcoholism, I appreciated how she realized that, for her, moderation could be a choice. That particular path was not an easy one, as she faced criticism and raised eyebrows.

She also admitted that her love/sex addictions were as much a part of her problems as her drinking, and that she couldn’t just “quit” love or sex. But she had to learn how to make choices that brought her to a more peaceful place. She described that sometimes you just have to “sit” with your feelings, instead of chasing after something that might make you feel better.

An interesting look into one woman’s world of addiction, and how she dealt with it. 4 stars.