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All Fall Down

by Jennifer Weiner

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6574526,131 (3.56)4
"Allison Weiss has a great job...a handsome husband...an adorable daughter...and a secret. Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband's becoming distant, her daughter's acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer's, and her mother's barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort--they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it's not like she's some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who's lost everything. It's not as if she has an actual problem. However, when Allison's use gets to the point that she can no longer control--or hide--it, she ends up in a world she never thought she'd experience outside of a movie theater: rehab. Amid the teenage heroin addicts, the alcoholic grandmothers, the barely-trained "recovery coaches," and the counselors who seem to believe that one mode of recovery fits all, Allison struggles to get her life back on track, even as she's convincing herself that she's not as bad off as the women around her. With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, All Fall Down is a tale of empowerment and redemption and Jennifer Weiner's richest, most absorbing and timely story yet"--… (more)

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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Didn't finish. ( )
  PamS76 | Feb 17, 2021 |
Didn't finish. ( )
  PamS76 | Feb 17, 2021 |
2 and half stars, generously. Weiner captures the self-created busy-ness of modern suburban family life really well with some wit and humor. The story centers on wife, mother and blogger, Allie Weiss who is addicted to prescription pain-killers. Some of it rings true and some of it seems really far-fetched. Entertaining read and perhaps a cautionary tale for all those women who try to do too much, perfectly. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
I used to really really love Jennifer Weiner's books. I thought that In Her Shoes was wonderful (and thought the movie version did not do the book version justice) and that Good in Bed was awesome and heartbreaking at the same time. Then I don't know what happened. I read Goodnight Nobody and just could not get into it at all. I really gave up after Certain Girls was published since I felt it ruined how perfect I found Good In Bed. I read a couple of her newest works samples on my Kindle and just could not get into it at all. So with that I decided that unless I heard from someone that her book was fantastic I was going to pass.

I saw that a couple of people that I follow here and there read and liked this book so I picked this up from my local library. Told in three parts it is told from the first person point of view of Allison Weiss and her fall into drug addiction.

Synopsis:

Allison Weiss got her happy ending—a handsome husband, adorable daughter, a job she loves, and the big house in the suburbs. But while waiting in the pediatrician’s office, she opens a magazine to a quiz about addiction and starts to wonder…Is a Percocet at the end of the day really different from a glass of wine? Is it such a bad thing to pop a Vicodin after a brutal Jump & Pump class…or if your husband ignores you?

The pills help her manage the realities of her good-looking life: that her husband is distant, that her daughter is acting out, that her father’s Alzheimer’s is worsening and her mother is barely managing to cope. She tells herself that they let her make it through her days…but what if her increasing drug use, a habit that’s becoming expensive and hard to hide, is turning into her biggest problem of all?

I think the main problem is with a book like this you as a reader end up getting so frustrated with the character of Allison. You know from the very beginning she has a drug addiction so her denying it and trying to excuse it while running to take another pill whenever she is upset makes you want to kick the character in her shins. when she eventually is forced to go to rehab it becomes harder still to like her since she sees herself above everyone else and thinks that there is no way that she belongs there and since nothing horrible happened to make her into a drug addict she really can't be.

However, I felt for Allison and find myself sympathizing with her when you see how overwhelmed she has become by her life and her husband's inability to talk to her and that the answers lie in her pill bottles.

I really did like the writing and thought that for the first time in a while I had a Weiner character really speaking to me. I adored the character of Cannie from Good in Bed and the characters of Rose and Maggie Feller from In Her Shoes.

The only reason why I gave this book 4.5 stars was that the ending was a bit ham fisted and it felt as if we missed a few scenes because all of a sudden we were transported to a day with Allison and her daughter and then we have her telling us what occurred. I am guessing it was almost a year later but you really can't tell. Also the scenes at the rehab center were a bit weird I thought. I don't know if Weiner was trying to say something about rehabs not being great or something but the place that the character of Allison was sent to sounded awful and it was written to somewhat justify Allison's feelings of wanting to leave the place. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
a bit disappointing, but i enjoyed it ( )
  seraynea | Jun 29, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Vera said: "Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story"?  So I told her why:
Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
  Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much.
Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.
               -----FROM HEARTBURN BY NORA EPHRON
Dedication
For my readers...who have come with me this far
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Do you generally use alcohol or drugs more than once a week?
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"Allison Weiss has a great job...a handsome husband...an adorable daughter...and a secret. Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband's becoming distant, her daughter's acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer's, and her mother's barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort--they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it's not like she's some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who's lost everything. It's not as if she has an actual problem. However, when Allison's use gets to the point that she can no longer control--or hide--it, she ends up in a world she never thought she'd experience outside of a movie theater: rehab. Amid the teenage heroin addicts, the alcoholic grandmothers, the barely-trained "recovery coaches," and the counselors who seem to believe that one mode of recovery fits all, Allison struggles to get her life back on track, even as she's convincing herself that she's not as bad off as the women around her. With a sparkling comedic touch and tender, true-to-life characterizations, All Fall Down is a tale of empowerment and redemption and Jennifer Weiner's richest, most absorbing and timely story yet"--

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