OVERRIDE

Beachglass

A Novel

Wendy Blackburn

St. Martin's Press

When Delia entered treatment for drug and alcohol addiction at age seventeen, her life changed completely: she immersed herself in AA, began to heal old family wounds, and developed a whole new outlook on herself, on spirituality, on relationships. Out of the rubble, she built a life for herself that any recovering woman would be proud of: a loving husband, a beautiful daughter, her own brand of hard-won wisdom.
 
But her long-term sobriety is put to the test when she receives a phone call from her gay best friend, Timothy.  Fulfilling a pact they made a decade prior, Delia tears herself away from her new life in Seattle and rushes home to Los Angeles, to Timothy’s bedside, facing the one thing she fears her sobriety cannot survive—losing him.
 
Back in LA, Delia begins to encounter familiar people, places, and temptations…a barrage of memories that makes her stop and sort through her past, looking for the courage she knows she needs now more than ever. As her past catches up with her present, she sees that she has not merely survived her losses and mistakes, but has been made stronger because of them. This understanding comes to her in full as she holds a piece of beachglass in her hand and realizes that it is its scuffs and scrapes that give it its quiet splendor, its imperfections that give it its beauty and individuality, and that it is from being tossed and tumbled that it no longer shatters—and she knows the same goes for her too.
 
Set against a backdrop of West Hollywood in the late 1980s, populated by a drag queen and a stripper, beautiful boys and artists, and told by a narrator with equal doses of self-deprecating humor, old-soul awareness, fallibility, and brutal honesty, Beachglass is a gritty and uplifting story of recovery, a journey that presents a fresh look into the world of AA and offers a convincing rendering of the constant struggle to go into recovery and stay there—no matter what.  In this stunning debut novel, Wendy Blackburn writes of the transformative power of love—for others and oneself—and about friendship, about forgiveness, about redemption.

REVIEWS

Praise for Beachglass

"A vibrant, engaging, and utterly honest book…this is a novel which seems to be about recovery but is really about so much more: friendship, chosen families, and the transformative power of human love."--Nicole Mones, author of Lost in Translation
 
"Beachglass takes you into the rooms of AA and rehab with the startling, powerful clarity of one who knows this precarious terrain all too well.  A new and promising talent, Wendy Blackburn writes with a refreshing sense of honesty, hope and renewal."--James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries

"Wendy Blackburn's Beachglass, paints an insightful portrait of not only a recovering addict, but of those who love her--parents, spouse, child and friends. Addicts often claim, "It's my life." But truly, their addiction touches a wide circle of people around them, as Beachglass so poignantly illustrates.  Kudos to Blackburn for a fine debut novel."--Ellen Hopkins, author of Crank

"Blackburn…obviously knows her material:  the AA meetings and late-night coffee and cigarette klatches ring so true that the tobacco smoke practically wafts off the page."--Kirkus Reviews
 
"…presents a kaleidoscopic look at AA denizens…"--Publishers Weekly
 
"A richly poignant first novel."--Booklist
 
"[Beachglass] is engaging throughout, with many insights that put meat on the story and provide understanding about people in our lives who drink more than is sensible, including, of course, ourselves if it applies…. One of the book's strengths is the characters' emotions--and their collective let-the-truth-come-out nature.  You will finish the novel with a sense of how truth, past dependency and all, can lighten the heart and mind rather than trouble it."--Seattle-Post Intelligencer
 
"…a deeply affecting, hard-hitting story…Richly imagined and full of vivid characters, this novel is clearly told from the voice of experience…"--Seattle Times

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Wendy Blackburn

  • Wendy Blackburn has been a chemical dependency counselor since 1992.  She lives with her family in a small town outside Seattle, Washington. This is her first novel.
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Available Formats and Book Details

Beachglass

A Novel

Wendy Blackburn

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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