What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Out of a Nightmare: Woman's Struggle Against Alcoholism
This topic is about Out of a Nightmare
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SOLVED: Non-Fiction > SOLVED. A woman's true story about her years as an alcoholic [s]

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Jul 19, 2018 12:27AM) (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 139 comments This is a very long shot, as I think this book might have been self-published with a limited print run. The only reason I came across it is because I once worked at a hospital mentioned in the book, and the consultant who took care of the author had a free copy that the author had given her that was lying around on the ward. So, odds are against anyone knowing it... still, I figure it can't hurt to ask.

I read this book in 1998, and it was in paperback. I recall the title as being something like 'Out of the Shadows' or 'Out of the Darkness', but unfortunately that's too vague a phrase for me to get anywhere searching it. The author wrote anonymously. As I recall, she gave her surname as 'A', and then, throughout the book, when a character was introduced that she wanted to anonymise (usually a doctor) she would give their surname as the next letter in the alphabet, so we'd get Dr B, Dr C, etc. I have a feeling her first name began with a J - Jean? Joan? Something like that.

The book was autobiographical and told the story of her years as an alcoholic and her struggle to give up drinking. Events that I can remember from her life include:

She had anorexia for a while in her teens; I think she was at a boarding school at the time but I'm not sure about that. As I recall, it didn't get recognised or treated but she eventually outgrew it.

She went to university - economics, I think - and got a job working in a pub in the evenings to save money, which is where the problem with the alcoholism started.

She got married and had children called Chloe and David, followed by a miscarriage. Chloe and the miscarriage were both unplanned pregnancies and there was a whole thing about her being worried in case either the drinking or some sleeping pills her doctor had given her had impacted on Chloe when she was pregnant (Chloe was fine when born).

She worked various jobs. I think one was in a bookshop run by a member of her or her husband's family who gave her the job due to her being a family member. At another point, she got a job teaching maths to sixth form students, but found she didn't remember nearly enough of her A-level maths so completely crashed and burned; there was then a complaint from a parent about her smelling of alcohol while teaching, which mystified her as she avoided drinking before work (she realised with hindsight that she was drinking so much in the evenings that she still smelled of alcohol the next day).

When she eventually tried to stop drinking, it was hugely difficult and she was under various doctors. At one point she was admitted to a psychiatric hospital (the one where I later worked where there was this copy of the book). Her daughter, now a teenager, was going off the rails somewhat at this point due to the stress.

She tried Antabuse or something similar - I forget exactly which one - but it had no effect on her.

Any bells rung?


message 2: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4229 comments I searched on worldcat.org and this one: Out of a Nightmare: Woman's Struggle Against Alcoholism maybe?


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 139 comments Oooh, that could well be it. There just isn't enough information online for me to check for sure, but all the details match, so I'm pretty sure this is the one.

Unfortunately, the only available copies are around £30, so I'm trying to decide whether I want to pay that much. I'll have a think about it. Thanks, Ayshe - you're an utter marvel!


message 4: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4229 comments You're welcome! It seems few libraries have it: http://www.worldcat.org/title/out-of-... so you can try loaning it.


message 5: by Kris (new)

Kris | 35167 comments Mod
Drsarah, should we mark your request as "Possible Solved" or "Solved"?


message 6: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 139 comments Sorry for delay! After some thought, I decided to go ahead with buying it; I have some birthday money I wasn't doing anything else with. So I've put in an order and I'll let you know the outcome. Meanwhile, I've marked as 'Possibly Solved'.


message 7: by Liralen (new)

Liralen | 710 comments Drsarah, did you figure out if that was your book?


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 139 comments Oh, gosh, I never posted back, did I? Sorry! This was indeed the correct one... so Ayshe scores yet again! Thank you!


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