I'm the binge-drinking health reporter. During the week, I write about Australia's booze-soaked culture. At the weekends, I write myself off.
Born and raised in Scotland, the home of whisky, Jill Stark had booze in the blood. Alcohol had dominated her social life ever since she had her first sip of lager, at 13. She thought nothing could curb her love of big nights. Then came the hangover that changed everything.
In the shadow of her 35th year, Jill made a decision: she would give up alcohol. But what would it mean to stop drinking in a world awash with booze?
This lively memoir charts Jill's tumultuous year on the wagon, as she copes with the stress of the newsroom sober, tackles the dating scene on soda water, learns to watch football minus beer, and deals with censure from friends and colleagues, who tell her that a year without booze is a year without mates.
In re-examining her habits, Jill also explores the global love affair with alcohol, meeting alcopop-swigging teens who drink to fit in, beer-swilling blokes in a sporting culture backed by booze, and marketing bigwigs blamed for turning binge drinking into a way of life.
And she retraces her drinking steps to Scotland, where getting p***d is seen as a birthright. Will Jill make it through the year without booze? And if she does, will she go back to old habits, or has she called last drinks? This is a funny, moving, and insightful exploration of why we drink, how we got here, and what happens when we turn off the tap.
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