Tag Archives: alcoholism

Book Review: The Edge of Sadness, by Edwin O’Connor


The Edge of Sadness is the most stunningly well-written book I have read in a long time. I needed to read “a novel that won the Pulitzer prize” for the #VTReadingChallenge, and the title of this one intrigued me. I briefly glanced at a synopsis and discovered that The Edge of Sadness is about an alcoholic priest. I was a little concerned that the book might be too depressing  or creepy (for what it’s worth, it is not), but I decided to give it a try anyway, and I’m glad I did.

It is easy to see why The Edge of Sadness received a Pulitzer. It has much to say about the human condition: the search for purpose, the yearning to be known, the constant temptation to retreat into one’s self and become isolated….

(Those ellipsis points are a jesting tribute to Edwin O’Connor’s annoyingly excessive use of ellipses throughout this book. Sometimes I just wanted him to finish a thought, darn it, instead of trailing off. But that’s a minor gripe about an otherwise fantastic book).


Book Review: Coming Clean, by Seth Haines


Coming Clean is based on Haines’ journal entries during his first 90 days of sobriety after realizing that he had become dependent on alcohol. Haines’ vulnerability and humility make this book powerful and inspiring. I think that most people, myself included, can identify with Haines’ struggle with unhealthy dependencies–things we turn to (instead of God) in an attempt to cope with stress or pain.

One of the biggest takeaways for me from this book was that breaking free from addictions, even though the daily struggle will be intense and sometimes excruciating, will ultimately lead to more peace, joy, and intimacy with God.

I am marking this book off as “A book written by a first-time author” for the #VTReadingChallenge.