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A True Story of Love and Alcohol
Narrated by: Louisa Young
Length: 12 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Summary

This brutal, beautiful memoir from award-winning novelist Louisa Young is a heartbreaking portrayal of love, grief and the merciless grip of addiction.

Louisa first met Robert Lockhart when they were both 17. Their stop-start romance lasted decades, in which time he became a celebrated composer and she an acclaimed novelist. Always snapping at their heels was Robert’s alcoholism, a helpless, ferocious dependency that affected his personality before crippling and finally, despite five years of hard-won sobriety, killing him.

There are a million love stories and a million stories of addiction. This one is truly transcendent. It is at once a compelling portrait of a unique and charismatic man, a bittersweet reflection on an all-consuming love affair and a completely honest and incredibly affecting guide to how the partner of an alcoholic can possibly survive when the disease rips both their lives apart.

This is a hugely important book. Raw and unflinching but also uplifting and elegiac, it should be essential listening for anybody who’s ever lost someone they loved.

©2018 Louisa Young (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Spectacular. I can’t stop thinking about it. Louisa Young is a beautiful, beautiful writer and there is great courage and love in the way she addresses her subject. It’s the portrait of a man and his times and his illness told with love but also with an unflinching honesty that feels like a great gift to the reader." (Cathy Rentzenbrink, author of The Last Act of Love)

"Oh my God, it’s so beautiful, and heartbreaking, and true." (Sam Baker, The Pool)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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A masterpiece.

This extraordinary book should be read by anyone living with or alongside alcohol addiction. It is so searingly frank, brave and patently honest, that the pain and effort to write it must have been tremendous. I can only hope the Author has found it, now published and well received, a cathartic and healing experience. As with her other writing, she expresses herself in a scholarly and detailed manner, but with great emotional input. I cannot express strongly enough how listening to Louisa Young read her book makes her love and devotion to Robert Lockhart a truly inspiring read. One is left bereft by the overall sense of 'what might have been'.


5 people found this helpful

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Stunning and heartbreaking

This book is one of the greats. Never have I experienced a more raw and honest reflection of love and loss.
My new ability to both laugh and cry on the busy morning commute is truly in the hands of Louisa Young.

5 people found this helpful

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Flat voice

The introduction is so depressed read by the author in a flat voice I went no further. I’m sure it’s a dark storyline that is worth, but the tone is suicidal.

3 people found this helpful

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Heart wrenchingly

Agonising and brilliant, made me cry often, but in the next breath lifted me up again; SO beautifully written and narrated. It felt like a privilege to have been allowed a glimpse into Robert and Louisa's story, special and forever memorable.
😖😎💕

1 person found this helpful

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Brave, beautiful...

I cried buckets when Robert died. Thank you Louisa for sharing. Grounding, thought provoking, fascinating. Wonderful love story and heartbreaking tale about addiction.

5 people found this helpful

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Thoroughly enjoyed the story

Written beautifully, felt as though I knew them both. Related to many parts. Really enjoyed it

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Beautifully written and moving

I loved this book and found it took a bit of time to get in to at the beginning, but then I was hooked. It’s so well written and the author narrates it so well and as it’s her own personal story I really felt every emotion and could hear the emotion and I liked that I felt like she was telling me the story just for me - as if I was in a room with her talking. It was also a real informative read and an eye opener to the extent of health issues faced as a result of alcoholism. I really felt empathy for both the author and also her partner, as he faced his demons. This book will stay with me for a long time.

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An emotional journey

Once I had tuned into Louisa’s voice I was taken on an emotional rollercoaster. The sister of an alcoholic brother I felt her pain. The ending had me weeping in Tesco’s carpark wishing I had met Robert and listened to his music

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Very well-written and engaging

Very well-written and engaging. Not too depressing despite the subject. A bit of swearing which I don't like but only as part of the speech, so I suppose it is realistic.

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Brilliant

Loved it, so sensitive and very moving. Very educative for learning more about how devastating and destructive addiction can be for all involved.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 24-12-18

tragically insightful

I can't describe it as entertaining. It is a young woman's charitable recounting of a prolonged life experience excruciating to live through and horrific to imagine in the reader's mind.

1 person found this helpful