This story swept me away. From the first page I was drawn to Linda, an introverted girl who prefers to read in her room rather than play elitism politics like the rest of her family. Both of her older sisters were prom queens, they’ve been accepted into high ranking universities, and have handsome boyfriends. One evening, Linda’s mother makes her put on a little party dress and attend a cocktail function downstairs. This action seals Linda’s fate and changes the path of her life for the next several years. Her older sister’s dashing university age boyfriend gets her drunk and carries her upstairs – like Rhett and Scarlet in Gone With The Wind – except nothing is ever really like the movies. Abandoned on the floor, a drunk Linda can’t cope with the way he used her so she starts drinking more. Then she can’t seem to stop. The once quiet and sensible girl is now attending party after party until she ends up God knows where in some random place. Dazed and drunk, Linda steals and tricks her way through run down stores and dive bars until she doesn’t know who she is or what’s real anymore.
This was such an excellently written book that I consider it to be literary fiction. The character development of Linda is excellent. The people that she meets on her crazy journey are memorable and some are despicable, but those who stick with her are of the best calibre anyone could hope to meet. This story shows the pain of addiction in a very real, first-person way. I enjoy character-driven stories so much and Linda is someone who will steal your heart. There were times in the book where she was in such a low place that I figured no one would stick with her the whole way. The ending was pleasantly surprising, yet bittersweet.
This book blew me away and I couldn’t put it down. It gets a full 5 stars from me!