Holy Water in My Scotch: From Despair to Hope
by Susan Boylston Cusack
Austin McCauley Publishers

"To thine own selves be true... sometimes we do the right things for the wrong reasons, and in trying to please others, lose ourselves."

This spiritual narrative takes readers on a journey through the horrors of addiction and the blessings of recovery. Cusack shares her own harrowing story, beginning with an examination of life in a family where "Drinking was always a coping mechanism in all the family histories involved" and a "part in the decision-making and fate of all concerned." Then, in 1969, after slowly sinking into alcoholism and addiction, the author decides to call AA Intergroup, an answer to her mother's prayers after a period of time when her mother poured holy water into Cusack's scotch. The path to recovery leads the author to Jim, a wonderful man with whom the author begins a new life devoted to helping others heal. Throughout their marriage, the couple works to develop, promote, and run Veritas Villa, an alcoholism recovery center. As positive and negative transitions affect both the couple and the program, God's will and the couple's purpose solidify, and readers encounter a hope-filled, faith-backed message sure to reaffirm and inspire.

Conversational in tone yet thoroughly detailed, this book engages readers emotionally and spiritually. The narrative traverses tenuous and treacherous paths of recovery and relationships, revealing inspirational characters like Rachel, whose "fabulous sense of humor and keen Irish wit" give energy to both the book and its audience. The book also sheds light on other cultures as the author and her husband help Icelanders struggling with alcoholism during Iceland's 1979 alcoholism epidemic. On another level, the work forms a twofold manual for surviving addiction and grief, as it recounts how faith can help believers and inspire non-believers during times of extreme personal loss. Spiritual nonfiction readers will find this book difficult to put down, while those with a past of addiction and recovery may find it relevant to their own journeys.

Return to USR Home