Heroin & its bedfellows…
I really didn’t know what to expect when I loaded Marni Mann’s “Memoirs Aren’t
Fairytales” into my Kindle. I knew that it was a story about drug addiction. I just didn’t know that it was so much more than a study about, or examination of, drug abuse and addiction. Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales transcends the normal drug addiction fare by placing you firmly within the mind of a drug addict. You are front row and center to the life and habits of a fatalistic user who has fallen prey to her drug of choice (heroin), causing her to spiral out of control into a destructive, dark hole. Beware: like addiction, this story grabs a hold of you and doesn’t let go.
At times while reading this book I felt off balance, queasy and disoriented. Presumably by design, the author injects you into a seedy, rat and roach infested, drug-induced journey through hell. As the story progresses the landscape (the streets of Boston, Massachusetts) turns from vivid and colorful to dark and bleak. At times, due to some pretty heady subject matter, you are compelled to turn, or look, away. But, the main character, Nicole, doesn’t allow you to do so. She just keeps pulling you deeper into the tangled web she has weaved. And, we walk in her dubious shoes throughout the story. Stepping into Nicole’s troublesome shoes is like riding a train that’s gone off of the rails. We are not only sorely seeking sobriety for her, but helplessly watching her life slip away as she ‘Chases the Dragon.’
The story is not for the faint of heart. It is not a fairytale. How could a story about drug abuse be easy to digest? But it isn’t terribly difficult to endure and swallow either. In fact, it’s a thoroughly captivating tale that leaves you wanting more. You want to read this book. It calls upon you like an addictive drug to keep turning the pages. The funny thing is while turning the pages you get lost in the journey. Just like a drug can cause you to lose track of time so does this story. When I was finished with the book I was sad that it had ended. I wanted to know more about what had become of Nicole and her battle with addiction. By the way, I’ve heard that Marni Mann is busy writing the next installment. So, those questions will be answered.
The characters in this book are fully developed real people. If you like stories about real people placed within precarious predicaments then this book is for you. I think you’ll find the characters to be sympathetic, complex and three dimensional. You will feel as if you know, or have known them in some incarnation or another. This is especially true of Nicole and her family. These are real people with real problems. I related to their tragic, difficult plight as they wrestled with their daughter and her demons. And, the author does a good job of making you pull for Nicole, the main character, to get sober while painting a wonderful and heart wrenching portrait of life on the streets.
One thing I kept wondering while reading the book was, did this really happen to the author? Is this her actual true-to-life addiction memoir? Is Nicole really Marni Mann? Did she experience what her main character went through? It’s hard to believe that she didn’t. The story feels so real that Nicole seems like an aka for Marni Mann. I know that the author did extensive research before writing this book and it shows.
The title is fitting for this tragic tale. Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales. They’re about the harsh reality that drugs can claim your soul. That addiction is very real, very destructive and very dangerous. If you had any doubts about it they will be vanquished after reading this story. This book, written brilliantly by debut author Marni Mann, is a compelling examination of drug use in our society. If you want to get lost within a mesmerizing story while learning a thing or two about addiction then Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales is for you. Published by Booktrope Editions, you can find it available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes among other venues. Or you can go to www.marnismann.com.