Today’s recommendation is a memoir about a family with addictions. Sadly, I believe this topic isn’t irrelevant but hits home for a lot of families out there. This is a great book about one woman’s journey and how she has learned to cope with her history and her family’s future. I hope you enjoy today’s recommendation, Everything I Never Wanted to Be by Dina Kucera.
What a book. I don’t read a lot of memoirs so I am very picky about the ones that I do read. This book caught my attention while I was reading the book summary that depicted the author’s family. Dina, the author, has battled with alcoholism and pill addictions, had alcoholic grandparents, an alcoholic father and has three kids that struggle with alcohol and drug addiction. I was really dumbfounded by the number of addiction problems this family had to endure and really, I wanted to see if I could gain some insight to what it’s like being affected by alcoholism and drug abuse in the family.
What I got out of this book was so much more. Dina is a great narrator, her emotions ooze out of her writing and you can actually feel the pain this family has gone through. The best part about the book is that Dina is a stand-up comic, so she tells the good and the bad. My husband even commented on how much I must like the book by the way I was giggling and laughing. In her own words, you can tell that laughter is a medicine, in order to survive the bad times, you have to remember all the good ones.
“This book was originally what people would call a ‘memoir.’ But because I’m a stand-up comic, it became something else. … This book is an exact replica of my life. The events exactly the way they unfolded. The truth. Plus the funniest things I can think of to help me survive the truth.”
I would warn anyone that wants to read this book that it does have a lot of rough language including cursing and abusive stories, even rape. But that is the life Dina has survived and I applaud her audacity for putting such difficult times into words.
The only problem I have with the book is that the storytelling tends to wander. She could mention something completely irrelevant to the current story that doesn’t seem to fit then randomly jumps back to the original story. Other times, parts of the story would be told in one chapter then she would finish the story in another chapter. Her disorganization of the stories could get a little confusing sometimes.
Even with the wandering stories however, I could not put this book down. There were just too many things I loved about the book. I loved the way she handles her reality, and I loved reading about her spiritual journey. I will definitely keep Dina in my prayers and I hope she continues to inspire through laughter.