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Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife  By  cover art

Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife

By: Brenda Wilhelmson
Narrated by: Brenda Wilhelmson
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Publisher's Summary

"A gripping, firsthand story of personal triumph and recovery by a wealthy American housewife who appeared to have it all but who was, in reality, losing life's most important moments in an alcohol-induced haze." (Hazeldon Betty Ford, publisher)

Brenda Wilhelmson was like a lot of women in her neighborhood. She had a husband and two children. She was educated and made a good living as a writer. She had a vibrant social life with a tight circle of friends. She could party until dawn and take her children to school the next day. From the outside, she appeared to have it all together. But, in truth, alcohol was slowly taking over, turning her world on its side.

Waking up to another hangover, growing tired of embarrassing herself in front of friends and family, and feeling important moments slip away, Brenda made the most critical decision of her life: to get sober. She kept a diary of her first year (and beyond) in recovery, chronicling the struggles of finding a meeting she could look forward to, relating to her fellow alcoholics, and finding a sponsor with whom she connected. Along the way, she discovered the challenges and pleasures of living each day without alcohol, navigating a social circle where booze is a centerpiece, and dealing with her alcoholic father's terminal illness and denial.

Brenda Wilhelmson's Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife offers insight, wisdom, and relevance for listeners in recovery, as well as their loved ones, no matter how long they've been sober. Winner of a Bronze IPPY (Independent Publisher Book Awards), Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife was called out by the Today Show as "striking a nerve".

©2011 Brenda Wilhelmson (P)2018 Brenda Wilhelmson

What listeners say about Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Yikes

I’ve listened to countless memoirs and yet this is the first time I feel compelled to write a review. The author is so horribly unlikeable I couldn’t even get through the entire thing. Her complete lack of self awareness is cringeworthy. I’m very thankful for Audible’s return policy

11 people found this helpful

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A Life Changer!

This book is not only a life changer, but a life saver! As a physician's wife, involved mother, community volunteer, and secretly struggling alcoholic, it was difficult to reconcile my growing shame with society's picture of what an alcoholic looks like. The author's brave voice and familiar stories inspired me. I related to her, and this gave me hope! This hope allowed me to overcome my fear and awaken to my own program of recovery. Everything in my life has changed, and while it has not all been easy, I remain deeply grateful "Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife" showed me the path to a new, much happier, healthy life. I consider this book to be one of the most important I have ever read.

11 people found this helpful

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Raw, honest, refreshingly candid look at recovery

Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife is a raw, honest, candid look at the recovery process through the eyes of a powerful woman with the strength and humility to turn her struggle into inspiration for other women who silently stagger through the fog of high functioning addiction. Brenda's story is profoundly relatable in a society that largely depends on alcohol as a social lubricant and a fundamental facet of hospitality in general.

Alcohol is as intrinsic to culture as food, music, art and literature. Brenda's book shines a light on the tight rope walk that so many of us walk in an effort to feel better and have a good time, to relax and connect with others.

It is a treat to hear Brenda's story narrated in her own voice. It lends authenticity and intimacy to the experience of listening to the courageous journey of this tiny heroine of her own life.

Bravo, Brenda. Thank you for taking the concept and reality of alcoholism out of "skid row" and placing it on Main Street and Fifth Avenue where it also belongs.

9 people found this helpful

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Longgggg

The first part of this book is great; the reader sees how this woman is struggling. She is relatable and the story is interesting. As the story continues, it begins to drag on and on. She quits drinking and really never looks back. It doesn't seem like it was even difficult. Story after story about AA meetings and the mundane life of a mom gets pretty boring. It is difficult to follow the story at times because she doesn't remind the reader who she is speaking about.

6 people found this helpful

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If drinking is controlling you, GET THIS BOOK

This is a book I couldn't put down. The author is brutally honest about her struggles with alcohol and I found we had ALOT in common! I laughed, teared up, laughed again, gasped and read this (in kindle form) straight through in one weekend. I loved the humor, the honesty and the fact she held nothing back from her readers. I too struggled with alcohol but finished this book along with my last glass of wine and have been sober 2.5 years since. Powerful read.

5 people found this helpful

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This woman’s life is WAY too clean and tidy

Not a real recovery story. She just talks about herself and her kids and her friends ad nauseam. She doesn’t ever really seem to struggle at all. Not recommended. Way too long and pretty much no story. There are much, much better options out there for this genre.

4 people found this helpful

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Like you are right there with her

The writing in this book is magnificent with details and imagery. The author, Brenda Wilhelmson, reading it makes you feel you are right there with her. I’ve listened to many audio books and several biographical that were read by the author and she is up there with the best! In this book, she is excruciatingly honest about how she was before and after quitting alcohol. No matter what your situation is, this is a book worth hearing. We all have habits we struggle to drop but can’t seem to do it. She not only makes you feel like you are not alone, but that we are all human and to struggle with ourselves is normal. I appreciate the details of her thoughts... so relatable. Read (listen) to this book. It is a delight to listen to her.

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Hard to listen to

This book is an example of why you should hire a professional to narrate your book. Between the total monotone and horrible vocal fry I had to turn it off. Save yourself the aggravation and move along.

2 people found this helpful

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Started out okay

This book is so bad. At no point did the author seem to struggle. She basically stopped drinking and never looked back (except to say she wanted to drink but didn’t) and then just proceed to complain about her (incredibly privileged) life for the rest of the book. Most of it was just the author describing her mundane life, which got incredibly old after the fourth hour or so. Don’t bother.

2 people found this helpful

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LOVE IT !

When I saw that Simon & Schuster calls it “A gripping first-hand story of triumph and recovery,” I knew it was for me. I bought the print version and loved it. The audiobook you can listen to over and again because is is so dense with interesting stories. I also like that it is narrated by the author herself. A great book for anyone suffering from addictions, and anyone who loves them.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Zebra Karma
  • 10-29-21

Diary of a housewife who once drank a bit and then stopped.

I’m a fan of this genre of memoir, I guess you’d call it recovery lit, and I’ve listened to quite a few on audible. This one was by far the dullest. Clearly no one ever advised the author that just because you call it a “diary” does not mean you have to subject the reader to every last detail of your humdrum life.

We get descriptions of her child’s potty training and flatulence, tedious descriptions of conversations with friends and family and accounts of AA meetings (which I thought were supposed to be anonymous anyway).

If you want to read a gripping (as opposed to griping) account of alcoholism, Liz Fraser’s Coming Clean or Caroline Knapp Drinking A Love Story are both great as is Sarah Heppola’s Blackout.

2 people found this helpful

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  • sarluv
  • 04-03-21

Made me question my own drinking habits

Loved it, really interesting how others reacted to Brendas decision to quit drinking, loved her voice and the way she read her book
Don’t forget you can change the speed which makes a massive difference in how a voice sounds
Thanks for the insight x

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hazel
  • 05-29-19

Excelent but that voice!!

Really enjoyed this book but l wish she she hadn't narrated it herself. Her voice is absolutely awful. Made her sound like she had swallowed a frog and was half asleep.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-22

boring and no substance

totally disappointed in this book. no real emotion haven't idea how or why this got published. as a memoir it lacked any connection to the writer

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-22

Trapped in a discourse

While I applaud the author/narrator for relinquishing alcohol in an alcohol-soaked culture, it was hard to overlook how very narrow her beliefs were in relation to the central topic. Not only was the author trapped within the dominant discourse and self-proclaimed wisdom of AA (through failure to question much of it whatsoever), but it was striking just how entangled her whole life (and AA culture) is unquestionably suffocated by patriarchy as well. If you are going to listen through this (rather long and prosaic) journey, listen to Holly Whittaker’s Quit Like A Woman alongside it. The juxtaposition will be illuminating.