Guest Review: All Fall Down

June 19, 2014 Atria, book review, Guest review, Jennifer Weiner, Judy Walters, women's fiction 2

All Fall Down

  • Written By:  Jennifer Weiner
  • Published By:  Atria Books, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, June 17, 2014
  • Length:  400 Pages
  • Source: ARC provided by publisher in consideration of an honest review


Summary:  Allison Weiss has a great job…a handsome husband…an adorable daughter…and a secret.

Allison Weiss is a typical working mother, trying to balance a business, aging parents, a demanding daughter, and a marriage. But when the website she develops takes off, she finds herself challenged to the point of being completely overwhelmed. Her husband’s becoming distant, her daughter’s acting spoiled, her father is dealing with early Alzheimer’s, and her mother’s barely dealing at all. As she struggles to hold her home and work life together, and meet all of the needs of the people around her, Allison finds that the painkillers she was prescribed for a back injury help her deal with more than just physical discomfort—they help her feel calm and get her through her increasingly hectic days. Sure, she worries a bit that the bottles seem to empty a bit faster each week, but it’s not like she’s some Hollywood starlet partying all night, or a homeless person who’s lost everything. It’s not as if she has an actual problem.

However, when Allison’s use gets to the point that she can no longer control—or hide—it, she ends up in a world she never thought she’d experience outside of a movie theater: rehab. Amid the teenage heroin addicts, the alcoholic grandmothers, the barely-trained “recovery coaches,” and the counselors who seem to believe that one mode of recovery fits all, Allison struggles to get her life back on track, even as she’s convincing herself that she’s not as bad off as the women around her.

Judy’s Thoughts:

I’ve read every, single Jennifer Weiner book. None of them has ever disappointed. And her newest, ALL FALL DOWN, doesn’t either.
Far from disappoint, ALL FALL DOWN is an intense, fast, entertaining but thoughtful read about Allison Weiss, a mid-30s woman with a solid career, seemingly perfect husband and five year old daughter, and beautiful home. Looking at her, you would assume she had it all together, and you’d wonder how. But if you saw inside her life, you’d see she also has a prescription drug addiction.
Weiner draws you in with her clever language, her irresistible character, and her clear vision.  From the moment I started this book, I could barely put it down. I was always thinking about Allison, and whether she would be okay. I had to remind myself several times that Allison was not a real person, no matter how much I wished she was. And with typical Weiner writing, of course you always get some humor, even in the midst of a book about drug addiction.  Weiss’ five year old daughter is beautifully drawn, making me laugh out loud several times.
I love fiction about ordinary women, about families, about what makes them tick.  Weiner nails all of this, and more.  Pick up this book. You’ll be glad you did.
Judy Mollen Walters is the author of Child of Mine (2013) and The Opposite of Normal (2014).  She can be reached at
Last Thoughts:  I love Jennifer Weiner, her quick wit, her honesty, the support she gives to new authors and to all women authors who work so hard and are still often unrecognized by the literary reviewers of many publications.  It was so hard for me to let go of this book to Judy to review, fear not it’s coming back to me, and I will be reading it.  I can’t wait!!
Jennifer Weiner can be found everywhere online!!  Her website, facebook and twitter are just a few places she haunts.


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