A memory of healing from trauma and addiction by a well-known political figure on the West Coast.
In 2017, Davis, then the wife of former California Attorney General and Treasurer Bill Lucier, was arrested on suspicion of domestic abuse; Finally a judge ordered her to attend 180 days of mandatory meetings of alcoholics anonymous. She was a famous figure in local politics; She resigned from the Board of Supervisors of Alameda District in 2012, after revealing her struggles with addiction to alcohol and narcotics, so the arrest attracted interest in the media. Here she uses pen and paper to retell her story in her own words. Davis, the daughter of a renowned civil rights lawyer, has garnered a number of accolades and held several positions, including chairing the Board of Trustees of Santa Ana County District School, before marrying Lockheier. Davis’ struggles with addiction have become fodder for scandal-ridden local news tools, she says, and she has fallen victim to media shaming. With admirable candor, she shares a story of resilience, delving into the traumas of childhood and adulthood, including a near-fatal car accident and difficulties he was involved in following, and recounts how she acted to overcome strong feelings of “shame, fear and resentment.” Davis is an open and uncompromising announcer who presents readers with explicit descriptions of sexual assault, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts and drug use. The work touches on issues of privacy, motherhood, injustice and mental health, including important criticisms of how addiction is incriminated and incomprehensible. However, with such a wide range of themes, the narrative can sometimes feel unfocused. It’s written in the form of letters to its builders, and it’s a wonderfully evocative choice, but the misses become a twisting step. Diary entries, notes and letters-within-letters are scattered throughout most chapters, and it can feel as if the author has forgotten for a moment that the book is meant to be addressed directly to her children. Also, in one of the most emotionally charged moments of memories, it includes what appear to be unapproved lyrics from a 2016 Disney movie song (Know Who You Are) from 2016 Moana).
A memory with a powerful message about strength and recovery, damaged by embarrassing performance.
Pub Date: Today
Page count: 354
Review published online: November 29, 2021