SOBER TRUTHS: THE MAKING OF AN HONEST WOMAN

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Jill Kelly’s memoir tells the stories of how she lost herself through alcoholism and recovered that self in sobriety. The memoir was a finalist for a prestigious Oregon Book Award for literary excellence.

sober truthsThe Oregon Book Award judge had this to say about Sober Truths:
“Forget James Frey. Jill Kelly’s memoir of alcohol addiction and recovery is more believable and, arguably, better written. She doesn’t wallow in self-pity but gives a vivid and honest account of what it means to give up drinking and find the way to a new life. Much of Kelly’s memoir centers on what ordinary life is like after the treatment center and will be valuable reading for anyone looking to deal with on-going recovery issues that present themselves in terms of anxiety, loneliness, and self-doubt. Kelly’s eventual success in learning to deal with her demons is inspiring indeed. Her colorful self-portrait is on the cover of this book, testament to a resurgent creative spirit.” —Barbara Sjoholm, author and founder of Seal Press

Writing Sober Truths

A decade ago, I came across a photo of my mother as a girl in about 1935. She was with her sisters and her mother and two other young women. No one is still alive who can tell me who the other women are, whether they were friends or neighbors or cousins. And I thought about all the photos we have of our ancestors and how few stories of theirs most of us have. I realized I didn’t want my story to be lost.

In 12-step meetings I had learned to be a story-teller for we share our experiences, in a general way, with each other in order to learn from our pasts and stay sober. I’d also told my stories in therapy. But writing them down was a whole other way to learn about myself and share that with others. And so I began writing in specific detail about pivotal moments in my life, moments that had led me on a path of dishonesty and into addiction, then later moments that had brought home to myself again. Thanks to wise teachers, able readers, and gentle critics, I learned to shape the raw material into scenes and the scenes into a book. Little did I know that the writing of the book would not only put more of my past to rest but would open a whole new chapter in my life.

Click here to watch a PBS interview with Jill on Sober Truths.

Click here to read the first chapter of Sober Truths.

Listen to the first chapter of the Sober Truths Audio Book:

For a personally signed copy, email me.