Recovery-related non-fiction is hot and many of you have a stack of books by your bed to prove it.

There’s tons of buzz about upcoming releases from Holly Whitaker and Laura McKowen, too.

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Sober people buy books. 

The time and money we free up when we stop drinking can be transferred nicely to the healthier addiction of reading.

My hat is off to the authors listed above. (Did I miss one of your favourites? Please add it in the comments section).

What I feel is lacking is great FICTION that appeals to people in recovery. Not only for people in recovery or even necessarily about people in recovery but great fiction that shines a light on the lessons we learn along the way.

Novels about hopeless wrecks who turn their lives around can be unappealing to people in recovery because the drunken episodes are triggering. Some may think that those are the juicy, fun parts but we know better. 

If 8.5 years of sobriety and 200+ Bubble Hour interviews have taught me anything, it’s that the story starts long before the drinking and the healing beings shortly after. The years of numbing are just a placeholder for pain, all white noise and black outs.

I’ve recently completed my first novel and have high hopes of seeing it published. It’s a family saga spanning five decades on the Canadian prairies, exploring the impact of poverty, alcoholism and mental illness among family members in an era when such issues were hidden and misunderstood.

I sent early drafts of my novel to mainstream readers as well as people in recovery and received enthusiastic feedback from both demographics. Those in recovery can recognize the subtleties woven through the narrative and identify strongly with those themes, while mainstream readers enjoy the ride without realizing the extent of the underlying messages.

Some fiction writers currently weave recovery into their stories. Marian Keyes and Louise Penny come to mind. Do you know of others? Do tell. 

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