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We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life
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We Are the Luckiest: The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  2,130 ratings  ·  260 reviews
"A masterpiece. The truest, most generous, honest, and helpful sobriety memoir I’ve read. It’s going to save lives." -Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love, Warrior and Carry On, Warrior

"Laura McKowen’s fearless, eloquent, powerful story is an ode to living an awakened life. Yes, this is a book about getting (and staying) sober, but it’s so much more
Hardcover, 248 pages
Published January 7th 2020 by New World Library
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Average rating 4.39  · 
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 ·  2,130 ratings  ·  260 reviews

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Laura McKowen
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I love this book as if it was my own.
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My daughter created a wall hanging for me a few years ago. I had taken it down in one room and today, the day after finishing Laura’s book, I grabbed it to hang in my living room. The quote on the wall hanging sums up this book more than anything I could try to put into words on my own. “A hero is one who heals their own wounds and then shows others how to do the same.” - Yung Pueblo. Forever grateful, Laura.
Amber Tucker
I was fortunate to see this book arrive as a review copy at the publication where I work. Since this appeared in my life at an exceedingly good time, I nabbed We Are the Luckiest and read it myself -- so it is as my own self, not as my editorial self, that I review it now.

This book felt to me like a fresh, honest, uplifting (but not annoyingly so -- no rosy glasses or simple solutions here, despite the "magic" in the subtitle) take on sobriety. Laura McKowan is nothing if not modern -- as the st
Julie Vaughn
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don’t dismiss this as just another addiction memoir.

Laura McKowen has written a gorgeous, heartfelt gem of a book. Completely authentic and raw, these pages show us a woman who, with heart, grit, and faith, finds healing and transforms her life. Though it was alcohol in this story, Laura’s experiences ring true to anyone who has had a substance or behavior send their life off course.

This is a story about resilience, hope, truth, and triumph. It’s a beautiful, leisurely read, and I purposely too
Lara Frazier
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
To say, I devoured this book is an understatement. I read it straight for 4 hours, had to take a break to work, and then went back to it as soon as I could and finished it in one day. I haven’t done this with a book in over 2 years and I read a lot of books. ⁣

Laura McKowen is the most beautiful writer, with a gift in ethereal, prolific prose. I ate up her words and they flowed right into my soul. ⁣

Laura has a way of making things that don’t make sense, make sense. And that’s an incredible skil
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
"And here is the thing we must know about our things if we are ever going to survive them: We believe we can bury them, when the truth is, they’re burying us. They will always bury us, eventually."

I don't drink.

I never really have. I don't like the taste of alcohol and I don't like the idea of losing control and not remembering what I said or did. I also don't like the way it makes me feel in my body. It's never been a struggle to not drink for me since I dislike it enough. So alcohol isn't my t
Katie Reus
Oct 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a raw, authentic memoir that I devoured in one sitting. Even if alcohol isn't your "thing" (per the book), everyone has a thing. It's not mine, I can take it or leave it, but we all have "things" because we're all human. Her experience is painful and heartbreaking to read about (especially all the times she put her daughter and herself in danger). But this books get to the heart of addiction and the road to recovery in a really sharp way.
Allan Gajadhar
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book is truly moving. I wanted to drink it all in at once, but it brought out so much emotion that I had to pace myself. Very little that I’ve encountered in the recovery rooms (or anywhere) speaks directly to my heart like this. My path has been similar to the author's in many respects, but quite different in others. This book simply and powerfully captures the shame, pain and confusion of the alcoholic, before and during early sobriety.
She is at her best when she honestly and openly descr
Amanda K
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I have devoured this book. I have devoured a lot of "quit lit" in the past and there are several that I re-read every so often. This will be one of them. This book just punched me in the chest in the best possible way. When is enough enough? When you stop trying to label everything and just realize you want better. You want a big beautiful life. Laura's humor and raw, realistic view was exactly what is needed if you're struggling with that concept. There are no rainbows and unicorns and platitud ...more
Alicia Cook
Apr 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book twice. It has impacted my life in ways only a small number of books have.
Elise Cripe
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
inspiring and thoughtful. I love a memoir that just stays in a short time frame and the meat of the story instead of eight chapters on childhood. this was great.
mindful.librarian ☀️
(free review copy) an excellent and unflinching memoir about alcohol, addiction and becoming true to oneself. Dare I say that this is required reading for ALL, regardless of where you fall on the alcohol-consumption spectrum? Yes, I do dare say that. Read it ❤️
Gretchen Howard
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We Are the Luckiest is an up-close and personal look at how alcohol can grab ahold of us and suck the very soul out of our beings - and how each of us are susceptible to its lure. Laura openly and courageously shares her deep-rooted relationship with alcohol - specifically wine - a walk many of us can relate to and are often terrified to examine. Her bravery at shining the light in the dark corners will bring our culture’s obsession with alcohol to the table of conversation -- to be looked at, a ...more
Stacie Rushing
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What Laura has done here is beautiful. She shares with her readers some of her experiences in the midst of addiction. Some of it is raw and heavy and that can not be lost on anyone who has experienced similar pain. Then there are the clever parts that made me smile (wink, wink, clink, clink). But ultimately what she leaves you with is this abundant feeling of how much there is to gain in sobriety. I spent so much time and energy pushing back at a sober life because all I could see then was just ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book early. There were moments while reading that I felt my breath catch in my throat. Certain lines hit me as so exquisitely true that I felt it in my gut.

It's not often that reading a book is a full body experience. This book was. While reading "We Are the Luckiest", I felt the effects in my body, my mind, and my expanding heart.

Days later, I'm still thinking about parts of Laura's journey through active abuse of alcohol to the freedom of sobriety
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is not a “how to” guide for getting sober - it is so much more than that. It’s a raw and tender look into a life that was marred by alcohol, but also a testament to the freedom and liberation and magic that comes with a secret-free, unashamed life. Whether your “thing” is alcohol or body issues or bad relationships or whatever, Laura poses questions that you didn’t know to ask yourself and finds ends to the loopholes that we all try to escape into through the telling of true stories and str ...more
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: already-own
This wasn't a bad book. My disappointment is that the description is inaccurate. Laura is a great writer and has a beautiful story to tell, but she never really delivers on the magic of sober life and why she truly feels lucky. Instead, the book speaks more of her past and her powerful story in overcoming addiction. A worthy story, but it doesn't fit the title or book description.
Jill Downing
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing writer!
Apr 24, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book annoyed the hell out of me. Sorry, I really wanted to like it. The author just seemed like a despicable person and in love with her own words. Maybe I am just taking this too personally, but my whole life I have been a good person who doesn't lie, cheat, or steal. When I married my vows were sacred. I pay my bills on time and am an empathetic person. So here is this Laura McKowen who admittedly was a shitty person smirking on the book jacket, seemingly with an adoring cadre of friends. ...more
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laura's stunning book is raw and beautiful. I tried to read slowly to savor it all, but quickly finished the book in two days, and have gone back to favorite passages over and over again. This is one of those books that you will want to highlight, but then find you are highlighting line after line, and paragraph after paragraph. If you don't have a history of alcohol or drug addiction, you will still relate to this book. After all, we all have a "thing." We are all in recovery from something.

Maria Losee
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Probably one of the best sobriety memoirs I’ve read to date, and I’ve read a truckload! Laura holds nothing back. She bravely pulls back the veil of shame that shrouds alcoholism and addiction. She reveals her darkest moments of her disease, including leaving her preschool aged daughter unattended in a hotel room overnight while attending her brother’s wedding. It’s through her fearless honesty that we come to know the true nature of this disease called addiction and its power over its most tort ...more
I really liked the core message (alcohol really sucks and life is better without it). Great, vivid real-life examples of how it can destroy your life (and probably is even if your stories aren't as extreme as hers). But the spiritual woo-woo stuff isn't, shall we say, my cup of non-alcoholic wine.

Despite the latter comment, I should reconfigure my nit-picky thinking a little and prioritize what is the main point here. This book doesn't wallow in New Age nonsense. This book succeeds in convincing
Jul 13, 2020 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this book because I heard so many good things about it. I just finished it and I think it’s OK. There’s nothing Earth shattering about it. I’ve definitely read better books, and I’ve definitely read worse. This is one of those books I’ll read once and that’ll be that.

The first few chapters were the best part of the book, and then it seemed to trail off and drag on. It just simply didn’t keep me totally engrossed all the way through.
Alina Switaj
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Laura presents a beautiful, vulnerable interpretation of her own journey and her brave and messy movement forward. A beautiful depiction of what it means to be human and accepting of where we are in our life. An inspirational story of what it means to see yourself and have the power to make your life beautiful.
Tristy at New World Library
“Laura McKowen’s fearless, eloquent, powerful story is an ode to living an awakened life. Yes, this is a book about getting (and staying) sober, but it’s so much more than that. It’s about embracing the beautiful messiness of being human. Readers of We Are the Luckiest are lucky indeed.”
Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love

“Heartbreakingly candid and brave, Laura McKowen takes us on an unflinching journey of what
Kieron Botting
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing

This book is a stunning account of one woman’s troubled moments as she’s battled with Alcoholism & addiction. Each and every example given could easily be replicated in the lives of others. There are certainly examples in mine.

This hero writes with so much humility and dignity that it’s so so so sooooo hard not to jump on the bandwagon and simply fall in love with this book.

I only hope Laura goes on to write so much more cos this was ‘HOOOLY SHIIIIT’ good!
Jun 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This book is about much more than alcoholism. It is about a woman who faces her "thing," encourages all of us to face our "thing," and, in the end, finds the beauty in "a nice little life."
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
someone said, “everyone should read this because even if your thing isn’t drinking, everyone has a thing” and GOSH if that isn’t true. I don’t remember where I read that but I’m glad I did and that it convinced me to read Laura’s book. the way she talks about uncovering herself is so tender and encouraging— I probably highlighted 50% of the book.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
I listened to the audio of this book and it was a wonderful read for on the road!
Erica Crescenzi
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Laura has a real gift with words. She seems to find a way to articulate feelings that seem impossible to put into words, all of a sudden, exactly what I was once feeling or am now feeling is there in words on the paper, it really is magical! Her acute self-awareness and high emotional intelligence really come through in this book, you feel like you are sitting having a very supportive heart to heart with a very smart friend the whole time. There are so many "aha" moments in this book, I highligh ...more
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Laura McKowen had a long, successful career in public relations and the Mad Men–esque drinking culture of advertising. After getting sober, she quickly became recognized as a fresh voice in recovery, beloved for her soulful and irreverent writing online and in print. She now leads sold out retreats and courses, teaching people to how to say yes to a bigger life. She lives outside Boston, Massachus ...more

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Are you spending this season bundling up against the chill or enjoying summery southern hemisphere vibes (in which case we are...
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“This is the singular, hard truth I come up against every day: I am the only one responsible for my experience.” 6 likes
“The same is true for all of us when it comes to our things. We have to pick a side. If we ever want out of purgatory, we have to decide if we are going back to a life of denial and secrecy and hiding and gripping onto the thing we do not know how to live without, or if we are going to take a stab at doing a thing we have never done before.” 5 likes
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