Saturday, 29 September 2018

#BlogBlitz A Laughing Matter of Pain by Cynthia Hilston

It's Publication Day for A Laughing Matter of Pain by Cynthia Hilston. It's a tale of struggle and determination to come back from devastating mistake and addiction.

About the Author
Cynthia Hilston is a thirty-something-year-old stay at home mom of three young kids, happily married. Writing has always been like another child to her. After twenty years of waltzing in the world of fan fiction, she finally stepped away to do her debut dance with original works of fiction. Hannah's Rainbow: Every Color Beautiful is her first original novel. She's currently working on more books. Visit her website for more information.

In her spare time - what spare time? - she devours books, watches Doctor Who and Game of Thrones, pets her orange kitty, looks at the stars, and dreams of what other stories she wishes to tell.

About the book
Harry Rechthart always knew how to laugh, but laughter can hide a lot of pain that’s drowned by the bottle and good times. He grew up the joker in the early 1900s in Cleveland, Ohio, but as he enters adulthood, conflict splits him. His once close relationship with his brother, Erik, breaks as they come into their own and Erik goes off to college. No longer under Erik’s shadow, Harry feels he might finally shine and make others see him as someone to be proud of. Harry finds an unlikely comrade who understands how he feels–his younger sister, Hannah. Once free of high school, Harry and Hannah double date sister and brother, Kat and Will Jones, attending wild, extravagant parties during the years of Prohibition. Harry thinks he’s won at life–he’s found love in Kat, in a good time, and in the bottle. But all the light goes out fast when Harry’s alcoholism leads to disastrous consequences for him and Kat.

Harry thinks the joke’s on him now that he’s sunk lower than ever. He’s in jail. He’s pushed away his family. He’s a broken man, but in the darkest depths of a prison cell, there is hope. Can Harry rebuild his life and learn that true laughter comes from knowing true joy, or will he bury himself once and for all in this laughing matter of pain?

This is a story about how alcoholism can destroy lives. Not just the the life of the alcoholic, but also that of their loved ones and the people around them. It is also the story of the hard walk of sobriety.

What Harry likes to do throughout the story is lay the blame at different doors. His older brother is too perfect and successful, and Harry can't live up to it. His eldest sister is too busy being an adult, his younger sister is too busy being a child. The only sibling he connects and has a bond with is Hannah, and in the end he rejects her too for caring and loving him. His parents expect him to be responsible, keep his life together and grow up. I mean, come on that's just too much pressure for one man, right.

Now that may seem like a harsh comment, but the truth is that even the smallest source of pressure, stress or anxiety can be a trigger for a person with addiction problems.

It's really interesting to note how his addiction sneaks up on him, in fact he isn't even aware that he has a problem until he ends up behind bars. His sister Hannah knows, but she enables and helps him to hide it from the rest of the family. In the end his realisation comes after a lot of soul-searching in prison, and yet he still lacks a certain acknowledgement of culpability.

During his time in prison he meets an inmate who offers him a lifeline when he gets out, so it isn't his own family he turns to after years of imprisonment - it's a stranger.

The author shows the reality of his addiction, which isn't always triggered by dramatic events by the way. An alcoholic always wants to drink, it is always the inner voice whispering into your ear, regardless of where you are or what you are doing. The question is whether you can learn to control the urge or not, an internal and eternal urge. I think that is something many people struggle to understand though, that addiction never leaves you and there is always the possibility of falling off the wagon. Kudos to those who manage sobriety, especially when they are confronted with their addiction of choice on a regular basis.

It's a tale of struggle and determination to come back from a devastating mistake and addiction. It is a story of what family is to some of us, and that it sometimes isn't defined just by blood. Hilston wants her readers to see that with support there is a possibility of redemption and a new life.

Buy A Laughing Matter of Pain at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.
Buy A Laughing Matter of Pain at Amazon com

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