Alcoholism, Eerily Spiritual Mum-Daughter Struggle, Make Book Stand Out

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Author Jan Carroll tells it all in this strangely redemptive, brilliantly-written autobiography

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Jan Carroll writes the dilemma of a loving daughter who is caught in a relationship with a mother whose alcoholism turns progressively worse in She is Heavy – She’s My Mother. From a famous and respected family, Jan learned to hate the way alcohol controlled her mother’s life. This is a moving, often ironic and sometimes hilarious book about a fractured mother-daughter relationship. The cross of alcoholism was borne not only by Eileen Carroll, the author’s mother, but the author herself. In the scheme of things, this book had to be written so that the author can tell the story of a unique vantage that she found in the middle of an alcoholic’s living nightmare.

Purposely cynical, the author shows all the symptoms of a child who never recovered from the hurt of being abandoned to a school run by nuns in a remote place in New South Wales. While her mother partied with glad friends in the glitter of Australian high society and drank, she was in the painful process of being moulded into a sensitive, caring human being. She eventually learned to cope and take care of her mother any which way – but her life had by then become a sacrificial one, made to serve her mother’s selfish, slow and drowning death.

In effect, Jan Carroll was made to bear two lives. The realization comes for readers this way: the author who is shown in various states of disgust and pity for her mother is the person who felt and lived for both of them for the better part of several decades. Alcoholism kills the mind and the spirit. Without the author’s goading guidance, Eileen Carroll would long have been the vegetable she willfully wanted to become for reasons of her own. She felt enough for her daughter to stay long enough on this earth and make the strangely redemptive, memorable and brilliant story of this book.

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About the Author
Jan Carroll grew up in Elizabeth Bay/Kings Cross, Sydney, Australia and went to a Catholic boarding school during the 40s/50s at Kincoppal/Rose Bay. Her grandfather was E. J. Carroll – producer of early Australian silent films. He built the magnificent Prince Edward Theatre in Sydney, which became her home away from home when her mother was too drunk to care for her. She spent holidays farmed out to different families of school friends. Her book is about the experience she’s had with her mother’s alcoholism and the fun she sometimes had because of it!

She is Heavy - She's My Mother * by Jan Carroll
Publication Date: October 24, 2012
Trade Paperback; $29.99; 310 pages; 978-1-4771-4761-0
Trade Hardback; $49.99; 310 pages; 978-1-4771-4762-7

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at 1-800-618-969. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (02) 8282-5055 or call 1-800-618-969.

Xlibris books can be purchased at Xlibris bookstore. For more information, contact Xlibris at 1-800-618-969 or on the web at

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