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review 2017-03-06 09:25
Seduction as a higher purpose

Guy thinks he's God's gift to women and he just might be.


Handsome, impeccably groomed, fashion forward, buff, sophisticated, a gourmet chef, an exciting career as a talent promoter and wealthy - thanks to an inheritance from his grandmother.


Early in life Guy realized he had this power to attract women, but so what? Where was the challenge? Beautiful women were too entitled and too high maintenance, they were not grateful enough. On the other hand, plain women, say a four out of ten, the ones with the over processed hair, the "full figure" and no sense of fashion, well, they couldn't believe how lucky they were when he focused his many talents on them.


Why not give these women a one in a life time experience, maybe even elevate their self esteem to the point they could make something of themselves. After all, if someone a wonderful as him was interested in them, maybe they weren't the losers they though they were.


Dolores is one of these young women. Guy meets her in front of his beach house (part of grandma's inheritance) applies the "full press" for a week and then when she goes home to go to college never calls or returns hers.


Just another lucky loser, but ungrateful Dolores refuses to go away and the trouble begins.


Author Jowita Bydlowska has created a very memorable character, a chauvist pig for sure, but true to his own moral code. It's hard not to start to like her anti-hero as he struggles with all us lesser mortals wondering why those he interacts with are appalled by his insensitivity when we would feel the same as him if we could only be honest with ourselves.


Written in the first person, Bydlowska nails Guy's voice and her diction and dialogue are edgy, authentic and LOL funny. Her supporting characters are perfect foils for Guy to play off. The plot's fast paced and exceedingly contemporary.


This brilliant novel begins to unwind as it draws to a close The convoluted ending casts Guy out of character, stripped of his superiority, almost needy and with no apparent motivation. Did Bydlowska think her deliciously nasty, sociopathically insensitive protagonist needed redemption?


Too bad.


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review 2014-05-23 19:05
Drunk Mom: A Memoir - Jowita Bydlowska

This was tough to read. Bydlowska is brutal, open, and honest in her narrative. She lays it ALL out there—all of it: her strong desire—passion, rather—to drink; trying to maintain her sex appeal despite lactating; the lack of connectivity and feeling during intimacy. It’s all there. Bold and exposed.



Despite it all, Bydlowska demonstrates her strongness in her motherhood. She recognizes the dangers; she plans around her blackouts; pumps when she knows her milk may be poison. Her joy for motherhood is exhilarating. Her ripping conflict between drink and child is persistent.



The other important factor is the power of family and loved ones. Her sister and her lover come together as a bonding agent for deliverance. They act as the stronghold that she can depend upon, especially when she can find no strength within herself. It is trying and wearing to behold.



That’s makes this tough: the striking nature through a stream of conscious narrative over an extended period of time. There is merit to this type of reading, but the emotional beating was a bit too heavy to outlast three-hundred pages. While there is hope, in the end there is still a lingering doubt: a remaining piece of darkness. I feel touched by the author, and thankful for her openness, but I leave bedraggled.



Thank you to the Penguin Group for providing me with an electronic copy of this book to review.

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review 2013-01-18 00:00
Drunk Mom: A Memoir
Drunk Mom: A Memoir - Jowita Bydlowska So like I said, a bit self indulgent. But I've never read an addiction story from this angle before and if you know who her and her husband are I think you might get even more out of the read. It definitely gets better the more you read. It's just the first 50-60 pages that are bit...long.
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review 2013-01-11 00:00
Drunk Mom: A Memoir
Drunk Mom: A Memoir - Jowita Bydlowska Actual rating = 3.5There are a few things wrong with this book - First, I know the book is called Drunk MOM, so the focus is on the year after her son is born when she relapses, but it would have been nice to have had more of a backstory as to who Jowita is and how she has found herself in the position she was in 2009-2010. She says many time that this story is "not the TV show Intervention", but what makes that show so compelling is that you are with the addict in present time but also get a (re)view of their past life, so you get a more complete picture of the addict as a person outside of the chaos of their addiction. Bydlowska gives you hints that she has been a caretaker to her younger sister after they arrives in Canada from Poland, but never any details about where her parents were or why they aren't a bigger part of her life now. Second, it often feels as if Bydlowska is trying to prove to the reader that her son was actually safe at all times, even when it is obvious he was not. She often gets blackout drunk while acting as his primary caregiver, but always makes sure to point out that although she was a mess, the baby was still not put in any harm. This is not a judgement on her behaviour - she has obviously admitted that she has a problem, and throughout much of the book admits that she made one poor decision after another, but trying to constantly prove that the baby was ok seems to only serve to make herself feel a bit better about the whole situation.Now to what is good about this book: I genuinely found it to be un-putdownable most of the time. Bydlowska writes with such candor about so many things, showing just how far addicts go to justify their actions and behaviours to themselves and everyone else, and how easy it can be to make excuses and deny that a problem exists. She talks about how the notion of suffering from postpatrum depression as a "luxurious term", that normal women wouldn't behave like her so she isn't able to excuse her behaviour in that way - showing how addicts often believe is is something morally wrong within themselves causing them to behave the way they are, instead what really may be the problem. She talks openly about how aware she is that this is a problem that she will be dealing with for her whole life, and how terrifying that prospect is. Her relationship with her boyfriend, the father of her baby, revolves around the mutual, unspoken understanding that if they don't talk about the drinking problem then it doesn't really exist. At first Bydlowska considers this a blessing, as it allows her to continue drinking, but slowly starts to wear on her, as the lies, spoken and unspoken, become stifling and ultimately unbearable. I really consider this a worthwhile read, and would recommend it to anyone who read and enjoyed A Million Little Pieces (scandal or no scandal) or really any addiction based bio.
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