Chosen as "MOST MEMORABLE MEMOIR"
by Publishers Weekly in their
"Year in Books" 2005
Parched is a memoir about alcoholism as the human thirst for meaning gone awry. It's not a memoir of "recovery," it's a memoir of resurrection. It's not an "addiction memoir," it's a memoir about a particular kind of sickness -- and healing -- of the human soul. It's a book about a God so merciful that he welcomes all prodigal sons and daughters home. With jokes.
Writer and comic Denis Leary says of Parched: "Dark, poignant, and hilariously funny. King's escapades evoke the demons that drive and haunt us all."
From sneaking drinks in small town New Hampshire to morning cocktails in Boston dive bars (before law school classes, no less) King chronicles her drinking years with wit and clarity. Earning a law degree while fighting off hangovers, dusting cockroaches off her dirty piles of clothes and stale glasses of beerm King's journey toward redemption is both appalling and hilarious. And when it seems there is no escape, she is pulled from the abyss by the most unlikely of sources. Casting her lot with the rest of humanity at last, she learns that suffering leads to redemption, that pain leads to compassion for other people who are in pain, and, above all, that a sense of humor really, really helps.
"A hefty chaser of humor and redemption before last call"
- L.A. Weekly
"Loaded with jokes and wicked anecdotes...Parched is a big-picture kind of memoir, literary and complete"
- Robin Vaughn, Boston Phoenix
"A remarkable story of spiritual enlightenment from the depths of alcoholism."
- Bradley Quick Shaw, KRLA (Los Angeles)
"Pained adolescence...sordid drinking days...King avoids the cliches in favor of self-deprecating humor...terrifying, and equally human."
-Claire Suddath, Nashville Scene
"...gives us all hope for embracing grace"
- Arlene Helderman, National Catholic Reporter