Behind the Curtain
by JeanĀ 
Trafford Publishing

"Life gradually became a series of fragmented nightmares: frequent episodes caused by alcohol and kept at bay by drinking more. I had lost control."

Jean's life is detailed in this absorbing and unflinchingly honest book about her life as a young girl in South Africa, where she experiences the divorce of her parents as a result of her mother's alcoholism and she finds solace in the Anglican Convent. Jean's understanding of her mother's condition is only further complicated with the loss of her father and the arrival of Joe, who becomes a drinking companion to her mother, the two of them "tied together by a shared disease." Yet, Jean and her mother soon suffer Joe's horrific abuses and Jean turns to the safety of school to escape his wrath. Outside of her home life, Jean continuously craves the caring and nurturing that is offered to her by everyone else: the church, her grandfather, her father and even her stepmother and half siblings.

Despite these intense childhood experiences, Jean emerges as a strong and intelligent woman, finding love with and eventually marriage to Alex, while discovering her own career in law. But this soon changes when, like her mother, Jean's life spirals out of control after losing the ability to manage her own drinking and it nearly destroys everything. Recognizing her dire situation, Jean somehow finds a way to overcome this disease and sets herself toward a lifelong path of sobriety.

The book's title is a reference to the "fire curtain" that was used for audiences to look at while waiting for a cinema to start. As a young girl, Jean created her own fire curtain for herself to hide behind to disguise her pain and shame, and she has struggled to look out from behind the curtain ever since. This book will move you, and it is a tremendous account of a person's struggle with a disease that afflicts many others. Through her words she is able to inspire anyone who may need to unburden obstacles in their lives and one will not forget her empowering words.

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