Subtitle: A STORY OF WHITE-COLLAR AMBITION, ADDICTION, AND TRAGEDY
Author: EILENE ZIMMERMAN
Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, ADDICTION
Length: 272 PAGES
Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE
Received From: NETGALLEY
Release Date: FEBRUARY 4, 2020
ISBN: 9780525511007 (Hardcover)
Price: $27.00 USD (Hardcover)
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
A journalist pieces together the mysteries surrounding her ex-husband’s unexpected death from drug abuse while trying to rebuild a life for her family, taking readers on an intimate journey into the white-collar drug epidemic
Something was wrong with Peter. Eilene Zimmerman noticed that her ex-husband looked thin, seemed distracted, and was frequently absent from activities with their children. She thought he looked sick and needed to see a doctor, and indeed, he told her he had been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. Yet in many ways, Peter seemed to have it all: a beautiful house by the beach, expensive cars, and other luxuries that came with an affluent life. Eilene assumed his odd behavior was due to stress and overwork—he was a senior partner at a prominent law firm and had been working more than sixty hours a week for the last twenty years.
Although they were divorced, Eilene and Peter had been partners and friends for decades, so when she and her children were unable to reach Peter for several days, Eilene went to his house to see if he was OK.
So begins Smacked, a brilliant and moving memoir of Eilene’s shocking discovery, one that sets her on a journey to find out how a man she knew for nearly thirty years became a drug addict, hiding it so well that neither she nor anyone else in his life suspected what was happening. Eilene discovers that Peter led a secret life, one that started with pills and ended with opioids, cocaine, and methamphetamine. He was also addicted to work; the last call Peter ever made was to dial in to a conference call.
Eilene is determined to learn all she can about Peter’s hidden life, and also about drug addiction among ambitious, high-achieving professionals like him. Through extensive research and interviews, she presents a picture of drug dependence today in that moneyed, upwardly mobile world. She also embarks on a journey to re-create her life in the wake of loss, both of the person—and the relationship—that profoundly defined the woman she had become.
Part memoir, part exposé, SMACKED takes readers on a journey into the white-collar world of drug and work addiction.
When most people think about the Opiod Epidemic and even addiction in general, they incorrectly assume that the people involved must come from low-income communities and/or broken homes. This book proves just how wrong that assumption is.
Author EILENE ZIMMERMAN thought she knew everything there was to know about her ex-husband. After all, just because they had ended their marriage, didn’t mean they had ended their friendship. They were committed to providing as stable an environment as possible for their two teenage children. They were in constant communication and even attended important events, such as graduations, together.
So, when neither herself, nor the children, had heard from Peter for several days, Eilene went to check on him. What she found upon entering his home permanently changed her life and the lives of her children.
As a journalist, it was not surprising that her reaction to discovering her ex-husband’s drug addiction was to do research. What was surprising is what she uncovered. To find out all the details, you need to read SMACKED.
I am impressed with the writing style and how well the author is able to convey the details, including the emotions both she and her children were experiencing.
It is often difficult for memoir writers to be brutally honest about their experiences. Often, the desire to sugarcoat certain facts is given in to. EILENE ZIMMERMAN does NOT sugarcoat any details. This makes for a much more realistic and believable tale. She articulates her anguish with heart-wrenching clarity.
The fact that Eilene had believed all of Peter’s excuses for the changes in his behaviour in hindsight can clearly be seen as being caused by addiction. However, Eilene, as with others of a high socioeconomic status, had no experience with drug addiction and as such, the idea of it had never crossed her mind.
The more Eilene researched, the more she learned and what she was uncovering shook her worldview. She knew she needed to let other people know just how prevalent addiction is in high achievers. This discovery led to her writing an article for the New York Times which in turn, led to the writing of SMACKED.
Everyone should read this book and it should be required reading for new lawyers, stock brokers, and others who occupy high stress jobs.
I rate SMACKED as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book ***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Eilene Zimmerman has been a journalist for three decades, covering business, technology, and social issues for a wide array of national magazines and newspapers.
She was a columnist for The New York Times Sunday Business section for six years, and since 2004 has been a regular contributor to the newspaper.
In 2017, Zimmerman also began pursuing a master’s degree in social work.
She lives in New York City.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
TWITTER – AUTHOR
TWITTER – PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE
“Addiction is a pervasive problem among lawyers,” says Doron Gold, a Toronto-based psychotherapist and former practising lawyer who helped develop the CBA’s online course on mental health and wellness in the legal profession.
– Obtained From THE NATIONAL MAGAZINE
“The most important thing I want everyone to know is that addiction does not discriminate. What happened to me can easily happen to anyone of you. Guaranteed, someone close to you is struggling with mental health and/or substance abuse.”
– Corey Phair
Quote Obtained From: THE POST ARTICLE FOUND HERE
Click HERE to listen to a short interview with the Author describing her story.