Paradise. A.L. Kennedy

Hard to write about, but something of a landmark book for me to read. My introduction to the book came simply from the high esteem in which I hold the author (see my review for "Day", below), but as I read further into the book any doubts that alcohol and alcoholism were not going to be major themes were dispelled. Coming at a time when I was attempting to get on to the proverbial "wagon" myself gave me quite a spooky feeling of synchronicity.

Apparently the book's 14 chapters mirror the 14 Stations of the Cross, which figure in the book's plot and imagery, but I was not able to see that, except in the final chapter perhaps. Ms Kennedy herself has said she did indeed write with this theme in mind, and I think she's a catholic so it should have been a narrative she could follow. For me the descriptions and experiences around drinking were scarily seductive and horrific by turns. It's hard for me not to think Ms Kennedy has her own demons in bottles!

If my thought have whetted your appetite then do ready the review by Ali Smith in "The Guardian", it comes top of my google search and is a striking example of the reviewers art at it's best.