SMACKED – A Story of White-Collar Ambition, Addiction and Tragedy by Award-winning Journalist EILENE ZIMMERMAN Coming Soon – A Story That Will Open People’s Eyes to the fact that Addiction Effects all Socioeconomic Classes and is NOT simply a ‘Poor People Problem’ – AN IMPORTANT AND TIMELY MEMOIR THAT IS A MUST READ FOR US ALL

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Title: SMACKED

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 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

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.

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ADD ON GOODREADS

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MY REVIEW:

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 ***

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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:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE

GOODREADS

FACEBOOK – PUBLISHER

ABOUT ME WEBSITE

TWITTER – AUTHOR

TWITTER – PUBLISHER

TWITTER – PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE

MEDIUM.COM

LINKEDIN

MUCK RACK

AMAZON

CHAPTERS

LIBRO FM AUDIOBOOKS

PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE

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“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

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“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

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Click HERE to listen to a short interview with the Author describing her story.

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A HOUSE ON STILTS: Mothering in the Age of Opiod Addiction by Paula Becker is a memoir that will have you riding along on the roller-coaster ride of her eldest son’s Opiod Addiction. This is an absolute MUST READ for every parent – 5 HUGE STARS – AVAILABLE SEPTEMBER 15th, 2019

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Title: A HOUSE ON STILTS
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Subtitle: MOTHERING IN THE AGE OF OPIOD ADDICTION
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Author: PAULA BECKER
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Genre: NON-FICTION, BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS, HEALTH AND WELLNESS, TRUE CRIME, ADDICTION

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Length: 176 PAGES

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Publisher: UNIVERSITY OF IOWA PRESS
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Received From: NETGALLEY
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Release Date: SEPTEMBER 15, 2019

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ISBN: 9781609386597

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Price: $18.00 USD

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Rating: 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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DESCRIPTION:

A House on Stilts tells the story of one woman’s struggle to reclaim wholeness while mothering a son addicted to opioids. Paula Becker’s son Hunter was raised in a safe, nurturing home by his writer/historian mom and his physician father. He was a bright, curious child. And yet, addiction found him.

More than 2.5 million Americans are addicted to opioids, some half-million of these to heroin. For many of them, their drug addiction leads to lives of demoralization, homelessness, and constant peril. For parents, a child’s addiction upends family life, catapulting them onto a path no longer prescribed by Dr. Spock, but by Dante’s Inferno. Within this ten-year crucible, Paula is transformed by an excruciating, inescapable truth: the difference between what she can do and what she cannot do.

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MY REVIEW:

I have recently read numerous biographies and memoirs and many of them have focused on the theme of addiction. Addiction was once ‘hush-hush’ and considered to be a dirty little secret. It is now beginning to be viewed not as shameful, but as a disease that is just as deadly as cancer, and one that can (and does) strike anyone at any age.

Many people look down on addicts and their families. They blame the addict’s parents, lifestyle, socioeconomic status, race, religion or any other of a myriad of factors upon which someone can place the blame. Often, in their smugness, they think “we are nothing like that family, therefore addiction will never be part of our lives.” Oh, how wrong they may be.

Paula Becker and her husband were living a charmed life. They were happy and when they added a son, Hunter, to the equation, they felt even more blessed. Adding another son and a daughter, and they were content.

In order to give their children, what they believed to be, an idyllic upbringing, Paula and her husband decided to homeschool them. Her husband was the main income provider and Paula could work as a part-time author from home. So, although it meant that they would have to be extremely smart with their spending, they were willing to do anything it took to ensure their children’s lives would be filled with learning and love.

Does this sound like a home where an opiate addict might come from? If asked, most people would answer “No.” Therein lies the challenge of identifying a person with a predilection toward addiction.

A HOUSE ON STILTS will force readers to confront the fact that addiction can (and does) happen to anyone, regardless of economic status, race, religion, colour, disability, location or any other of the myriad of reasons people have blamed for addiction.

Paula Becker’s memoir A HOUSE ON STILTS is being released at the perfect time. I firmly believe that every parent needs to read this book, and needs to read it NOW!

Paula Becker’s memoir will tug at your heartstrings as she writes about how her family’s life changes as her eldest son first dabbles, then dives headfirst into drugs. As Hunter’s addiction spirals out of control, his parents mourn the loss not only of his mental and physical health, but also the loss of a mother’s dreams for her son.

The Beckers family was lucky in that due to their economic status and health care insurance, they had the resources to get the very best treatment money could buy. Yet despite having so many advantages in life and even in addiction treatment options, they found that no matter what the family tried, that it would not work. They couldn’t wish Hunter better because it is the addict who must want to change.

One of the things I admire most about the author is her candor. She does not sugarcoat or try to justify any actions she has taken, nor does she try to make Hunter sound any better or worse than he really was. I am also happy that she chose to include details as to how Hunter’s addiction impacted his two siblings.

Written with her heart on her sleeve, Paula Becker’s memoir is important and deserves the highest possible rating. I rate A HOUSE ON STILTS as 5+ OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

A House on Stilts: Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction (a memoir) will be published September 15, 2019, by University of Iowa Press.

To pre-order a signed copy of A HOUSE ON STILTS, please click HERE.

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*** Thank you to NetGalley and to the Publisher for providing me with a free copy of this book.***

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QUOTE:

“Hunter had been an erupting volcano during sophomore year. Now he was dormant. Barry and I monitored him, volcanologists. There was still smoke, there were occasional rumbles, but for a while Hunter put out relatively neutral readings.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Photo by David Ryder

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Paula Becker is a writer and historian living in Seattle, Washington. She is the author of the book:

Looking For Betty MacDonald: The Egg, The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and I (University of Washington Press)
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She also wrote the following books with co-author Alan J. Stein:

The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair And Its Legacy (Seattle Center Foundation, 2011)

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Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Washington’s First World’s Fair (History Ink/HistoryLink in association with University of Washington Press, 2009)
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More than 300 of Paula’s essays documenting all aspects of Washington’s history appear on http://www.HistoryLink.org, the online encyclopedia of Washington state history, where she is a historian.

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Read one of her essays by Clicking HERE
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Seattle Magazine has named Paula Becker as one of “The Six Seattle Authors You Shouldn’t Miss This Fall” in the September 2019 Edition.

Image Credit: Hayley Young

From left to right: Timothy Egan, Lindy West, Shin Yu Pai, Shauna Ahern, Paula Becker, Charles Johnson

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To read the full article click HERE.
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Upon the release of A House On Stilts, Paula Becker will be making various appearances around Seattle including an appearance on September 21st at 2 p.m (FREE) at Seattle Central Library, downtown, 1000 Fourth Ave., 206.386.4636;
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and on October 28th (6 p.m., free) at University Book Store, University District, 4326 University Way NE, 800.335.7323
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To learn more about this author, visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE
https://paulabecker.org/

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GOODREADS
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INSTAGRAM
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AUTHOR’S GUILD
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TWITTER – AUTHOR
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TWITTER – PUBLISHER

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THIRD PLACE BOOKS – ORDER A SIGNED COPY AND/OR VISIT THE STORE ON OCTOBER 1st TO MEET THE AUTHOR IN PERSON
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AMAZON
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CHAPTERS

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PUBLISHER’S WEBSITE
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Resources for families of people with addiction:

American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) patient resources page

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American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) physician search

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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) 24-hour a day national help line for treatment referrals

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Shatterproof (a national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending the devastation addiction causes families)

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Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

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Facing Addiction family and friends portal

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Sam Harris discusses addiction with Sally Satel, M.D., a practicing psychiatrist and lecturer at the Yale University School of Medicine who examines mental health policy as well as political trends in medicine.