West Virginia author Sarah Blizzard takes years of pain and struggle to the page in her memoir on family, addiction, and growing up in it.
Memories are shifting, ephemeral things that fade and change with time. They are an entity of perception—what one remembers of a moment may be different from how another recalls it. Sarah Blizzard, author of the memoir As a Result, takes on the challenge of parsing memories from a lifetime of instances that form the bigger picture of her life.
Those moments are just as fleeting within the pages of the memoir, short snippets of memories that Blizzard carefully curates interspersed with brilliant, nearly missable lines of reflection that leave you sitting back, hurting for the people on the page—an adult seeing things clearly that were only in the periphery view of the child she was. They reach us in different ways. Some are moments of peace, a calm before a storm with a fondness and nostalgia that comes with the territory of remembering. Others dig in their teeth, revealing a pain so unique yet so universal.
The achingly honest, no-holds-barred account of her family’s—and subsequently her own—struggles with alcohol and addiction are bookended by a moment of pain and a step toward healing with all the messy, ugly parts of life in between. Blizzard paints a picture for readers of someone trying to survive the grief life brings while holding furiously to those they care about, all the while realizing that sometimes that means letting go. She cracks open the heart of her family’s struggles, laying out the secrets so long buried for readers to experience and understand, unflinching in her truth. “If it’s true that we are as sick as our secrets,” Blizzard writes, “we can have compassion for those who are unable to face them.”
Blizzard’s journey to recovery and new life is spilled across the page with forthright directness, even in the worst of life’s moments. Her memoir is an example of what comes from allowing ourselves to sit with the darkest, bruised versions of who we were, becoming who we are meant to be as a result of it all.
You can find As a Result online and in stores in three different formats: print, ebook, and as an audiobook read by Blizzard’s friend and former Morgantown resident Amy Johns.