We Are the Luckiest

The Surprising Magic of a Sober Life
Narrated by: Laura McKowen
Length: 7 hrs
5 out of 5 stars (397 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We Are the Luckiest is a masterpiece. It’s the truest, most generous, honest, and helpful sobriety memoir I’ve read. It’s going to save lives.” (Glennon Doyle, number-one New York Times best-selling author of Love Warrior: A Memoir)

What could possibly be “lucky” about addiction? Absolutely nothing, thought Laura McKowen when drinking brought her to her knees. As she puts it, she “kicked and screamed . . . wishing for something - anything - else” to be her issue. The people who got to drink normally, she thought, were so damn lucky. 

But in the midst of early sobriety, when no longer able to anesthetize her pain and anxiety, she realized that she was actually the lucky one. Lucky to feel her feelings, live honestly, really be with her daughter, change her legacy. She recognized that “those of us who answer the invitation to wake up, whatever our invitation, are really the luckiest of all.” 

Here, in straight-talking chapters filled with personal stories, McKowen addresses issues such as facing facts, the question of AA, and other people’s drinking. Without sugarcoating the struggles of sobriety, she relentlessly emphasizes the many blessings of an honest life, one without secrets and debilitating shame.

©2020 Laura McKowen (P)2020 New World Library

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Influencer Recovery, Part One



Laura McKowan’s new memoir, We Are the Luckiest, is one of two new books related to alcoholism released in sensationalistic fashion for the new year.

Observing the run-up and promotion on social media and online recovery communities, I perused Laura’s website, some blog postings, and her Facebook page, where she maintains a presence consistent with author platform. She seems to have a loyal following in the thousands, though the volume of real engagement is difficult to ascertain. What emerged was a picture of a woman with stable, albeit short-term sobriety (five years) who is carving out a career based on this. With a background in marketing, she offers various workshops ranging from an introductory 90 minute online course and weeks long courses on sobriety and “creativity” to a $4800 master class on writing a book. For many working in this realm of coaching or, I reluctantly use the term, thought leader space, the books they author are intended as a draw to their websites and various click funnels. I awaited the book, hoping for substance; I wanted to see something of value for people struggling with addiction, whether alcohol or other, and regardless of demographic..

Laura writes well, no argument. Her workshopped, expository style is rich in imagery, metaphors, and all the creative writing craft one would expect from someone of her background—working in Boston advertising agencies. That being said, the book is little more than a collection of thematically related blog post/journal entries. Other than a few references to events described earlier in the book, there is no unifying theme or case that she builds to a conclusion. If you’re looking for a how-to book on recovery or anything boldly innovative, this is not that book.

Laura shares her personal perspective on alcohol dependence, entering recovery, challenges in sobriety, and very limited experience with the traditional model of recovery (AA, NA, twelve steps). Her courageous sharing of some of her war stories is de rigueur, almost expected in the recovery world. She resides in an upscale town on Boston’s North Shore, far from the front lines of the addiction crisis both literally and figuratively. Primarily alcohol-focused, this tale of recovery in a bubble is scarcely relevant to the struggles of people in places like rural Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia, Oklahoma or the provinces of Canada. While this is Laura’s reality and her personal bottom, it is nevertheless a marketable version of addiction and recovery.

One valid issue Laura raises is the traditional model’s failings; AA has numerous flaws, and is simply not the right recovery vehicle for many. There is also much it gets right, and someone of Laura’s obvious abilities could have pulled more out of it, had she persisted. An enlightened explanation of the traditional model’s shortcomings, based on the experience of someone who fully engaged the process, would have greater benefit to readers than one-sided criticism. Yes, it’s far from perfect, but tell us how to get something out of it.

Laura has no clinical background, and the only reference to the science of addiction was borrowed from her BFF, Holly Whitaker (whose new book is the subject of Influencer Recovery Part Two). The neurobiology of addiction recovery should be handled in a layperson-friendly manner that takes account of the audience. Absent is the credibility that comes from training and therapeutic work in the field. Laura’s self-made program of recovery seems to consist of abstinence, yoga, readings, and a community of other recovery outliers. Vague references to mentors were made, and more detailed ideas about finding and receiving guidance would be helpful to readers.

To summarize, if you’re looking for authoritative, educated direction and insight into recovery from addiction here, it’s lacking. What this book represents is one individual’s monetization of her self-directed recovery. It offers value to a very small proportion of those attempting recovery from addiction, and that is valid. Everyone should have an individualized program of recovery attuned to their unique needs and circumstances. For a few, this is the shoe that will fit, but to be clear, this is the Kardashian-ification of recovery.

Disclosure: I’m a RN with extensive training and experience in holistic/energy practices, as well as science-based transformation/motivational techniques with 29 years personal recovery, emerging recovery expert and activist, and author of two books on recovery. I read and reviewed this book to keep abreast of developments. I’m sorry this is harsh, but this is recovery, and it’s too important to whitewash. It’s unfortunate that real experts and innovators who offer real solutions to the addiction crisis simply don’t have access to the same types of platform that sensationalists do. KK

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Expansive, Forward Moving, Gentle

Incredibly tender and sweet renderings of navigating through unknown and tough experiences. Very realistic expectations of the time frames needed to wade through multi-layers of the onion of returning to the self. More validation and appreciation for how much chemical dependency overlaps with relationship dependencies (co-dependency) based on dynamics that got set up in early childhood. I was a big fan of McKowen's blog and both her podcasts previously, and look towards more of books being published. I binged on this title and will hopefully revisit it again for a slower listening a second time.

6 people found this helpful

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Wow! An exceptional memoir

A masterpiece! I’ve read dozens of this genre and have to say this is the only one I listened to/read straight through.

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This book will save lives.

This book will save lives. Bravo 👏 Laura, your honesty will touch all who read or listen to this! ❤️

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Encouraging

This is a great book for anyone who is sober or just considering sobriety. Laura has a beautiful way of writing.

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Thank you

Raw, real, and penetratingly honest- an account without a candy coating but with hope and grit and grace. A nice little life indeed.

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Powerful story of recovery and learning self-love

Very well told. A peak behind the curtain detailing the emotional rollercoaster that is recovery. As someone in recovery, I would recommend Laura's story to anyone touched by addiction, especially if you are trying to better understand the struggle of someone you love.

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Great book for anyone looking to go sober.



I loved everything about this book. It spoke to me in so many levels. I am 50 days into sobriety. This book helped keep me in a good headspace.

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Sober Life

I simply loved this book! Every chapter, every quote, every transparency, every connection brought me closer to my truth. L.McKowen writes in a real way and connects to the reader; she doesn't hold back. It made me realize that I was not alone. I've been on my sobriety journey for years--it's comforting to know that people have set backs and getting sober is hard stuff! In the end, her book made me feel like I made a friend. I'm on my way...Thank you, Laura!

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A must-read for anyone on the road to recovery or anyone looking to uncover their hidden gifts

Laura McKowen’s, “We are the Luckiest” is a searingly honest and beautiful account of her long and winding road to sobriety. It is truly inspirational because she demonstrates this is not an easy or straight path process. It is full of ups and downs and hard truths and hard knocks but through it all her spirit keeps pushing forward, despite her doubts, society’s obstacles and the voice in her head that constantly tells her that life is diminished without alcohol.

McKowen’s gift is that as she reveals her most personal experiences, she is speaking to all of us because she knows she has uncovered universal truths. She nudges the reader forward to examine their life too.

This is a must-read for anyone on the road to recovery or even considering recovery or anyone who is searching for a deeper and fuller life.

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  • tania
  • 01-11-20

fabulous

loved this book, didn't want it to end. Honest and insightful. Made me cry and laugh in even measures

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  • Denise Tumulty
  • 01-17-20

Could not recommend this enough 😊

This book is a gift, that needs to be shared. Thank you for sharing your incredible journey Laura ❤️

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  • Elizabeth
  • 01-12-20

life changing

i preordered this book after listening to the authors interview with annie grace. it brought me to tears the depth i could relate to this woman and her story. The writing is engaging and the naration is incredibly personal. You can feel every word. What an inspiration to anybody struggling with addiction or on a path of aelf discovery. Thank you. We are the luckiest!

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  • tillymint
  • 01-11-20

An inspiring, honest, authentic story of recovery

Laura McKowen has been inside my head! I identified so much with her writing. It's gripping, the way she writes is so visceral, you can almost feel it. She offers a roadmap for finding your way through not just sobriety but finding a better life for yourself. A truly lovely narration by the author; the nuance in her voice is quite moving at times.

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  • Jess Taylor
  • 01-10-20

The most amazing read!

An honest and inspiring story that I’m sure will touch and change many lives, thank you.

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  • Jenny
  • 02-10-20

Comforts of "Home".

I've greatly missed Laura's voice and stories since HomePodcast. I knew her book wouldn't disappoint!

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  • mex
  • 02-03-20

A brutally honest account

A raw account of living a life with a secret love, Laura describes how alcohol sucks her freedom and relationships away from her and how she claws her life back to own it completely. I didn’t want to stop listening.

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  • a moore
  • 01-29-20

More than just a book about sobriety

I'm amazed at the courage and honesty of Laura McKowen dont know how I stumbled across her but I'm glad I did. This book has not only made me address my drinking but also look at others areas of my life.. this has had a huge impact on me. So many people will benefit for Laura McKowen getting sober..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-20

It's not the label, but the content that influence

This book help me realise a few things, it is one step at a time that you can climb up to new heights, if you only date one step at a time, till you start to see the view

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  • Stephanie Mendham
  • 01-29-20

beautiful and real

Perfectly heart wrenching, real and honest. I cried multiple times as Laura explains the experience of drinking so accurately i felt it in my soul. No other book has truly spoken to me. love it x

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-13-20

Didn’t want it to end!

I could listen to Laura McKowan forever. Her words are so full of truth and pain and love and compassion and wisdom. I’ve just finished, and I’m starting again. Thank you for pouring your heart and soul into this book, I will share it many times over, and listen to it many times over.