Reviewed by Carol Hoyer, PhD, for Reader Views (06/10)
Jack Summers by all accounts was a regular guy who took family responsibility seriously, however, he loved wine. Just like any addiction, Jack put his wine tasting ahead of anything else. He was consumed with visiting wine tastings and only hung with people who felt the same. He drank whenever he could- while teaching, on the road and at home. He neglected everything else – regardless of what his family and friends said to him – he felt he was a connoisseur of wine. His addiction to wine was taking him down in life, unrealized by him. A DUI, a support group and no money were not even in his mind. He ignored all the warning signs. Finally he met the girl of his dreams who was also addicted to wine; he was in heaven until she gave him an ultimatum – her or the wine. Denial is such a big part of addiction, regardless of what it is. Jack had all the excuses and ignored those who didn’t feel the same way he did. He attended support groups just to get others off his back, until one day he saw the light.
The author has done an excellent job of addressing addiction and the power it has over someone. His ability to express what goes on in Jack’s mind is true and enlightening. Many books talk about the addiction process, which this author does, but the difference in this book is readers will see the thoughts and true actions of an addicted person. Kuc gives us the real view of what a person is willing to do to get the “high” and ignore all other facets of our life. He gives readers a realistic view of trials, tribulations and several attempts at staying away from addiction. One thing I liked about this book is that the story has a good message. Yes, the character had issues, but it also gives readers hope and subtle hints at what to do to make changes. There are issues of codependency that include family and friends, as well as how manipulative those who are addicted are. It is not a book that points fingers, yet at the same time after reading this, readers will look at their own lifestyle and addictions, whatever they may be.
I have added “Fermented Memories” to my Psychology classes as a book to read to really understand what goes on in the mind of those who are addicted. It can apply to any addiction one has.