Charlie & Me by Catherine Barry

It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review and I must make note-to-self to be better about doing this. After all in the back of my mind this is what this blog was mainly supposed to contain when it was first launched a few months back. It isn’t for lack of books read that I’ve failed in this task. Maybe I just needed the right book to give me the proverbial kick in the behind!

Charlie & me by Catherine Barry was just that book. As it states on the cover, this is Catherine’s true story, her story of addiction to alcohol and her road to recovery with the help of one remarkable man named Charlie, her friend and sponsor.

Charlie seems like the kind of friend that we all hope to have in our lives when the chips are down. He’s loyal, reliable, is not afraid of being tough when need be and has a cracking sense of humor. Barry herself has a terrific sense of humor, which jumps off the page as she recounts her tale of triumph. But at no time does her style of storytelling underplay the hard work and sheer determination it took to beat her addiction.

I hate to use the phrase ‘I loved this book’ when talking about a memoir of this nature, but I did love it. I loved the relationship between Catherine and Charlie, their witty bantering, Charlie’s ability to diffuse any situation and the obvious tenderness that developed between the two of them.

I also loved Barry’s clean writing style and her ability to turn a phrase and make everything crystal clear to the reader. You can tell she has a love of language and she has the ability to command it too.  I’m sure this wasn’t an easy book to write but she’s done so with no self-pity but with grace and dignity. I’m sure Charlie must be very proud of The rotten rip.

This is Irish author Catherine Barry’s most recent book and her only work of non-fiction. She has previously written three books of fiction which I hope to read in the very near future! Unfortunately none of her works have been published in the states, but they are available through Amazon and also through the Book Depository.

Thanks to Deborah Henry, author of  The Whipping Club, for introducing me to the writing of Catherine Barry!


4 thoughts on “Charlie & Me by Catherine Barry

  1. I’ve got every sympathy on the book review pile-up syndrome! It’s a constant balancing act for me between reading other people’s blogs and gathering recommendations, reading what is on my shelves already and writing about what I’ve read! Charlie and Me doesn’t sound like the kind of book I’d instinctively read – but I’m keen to read it having read your very positive review – so one more for the ‘What Next’ list!

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