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The Art of Losing It: A Memoir of Grief and Addiction

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When her brother dies of AIDS and her husband dies of cancer in the same year, Rosemary is left on her own with two young daughters and antsy addiction demons dancing in her head. This is the nucleus of The Art of Losing It: a young mother jerking from emergency to emergency as the men in her life drop dead around her; a high-functioning radio show host waging war with her When her brother dies of AIDS and her husband dies of cancer in the same year, Rosemary is left on her own with two young daughters and antsy addiction demons dancing in her head. This is the nucleus of The Art of Losing It: a young mother jerking from emergency to emergency as the men in her life drop dead around her; a high-functioning radio show host waging war with her addictions while trying to raise her two little girls who just lost their daddy; and finally, a stint in rehab and sobriety that ushers in a fresh brand of chaos instead of the tranquility her family so desperately needs. Heartrending but ultimately hopeful, The Art of Losing It is the story of a struggling mother who finds her way―slowly, painfully―from one side of grief and addiction to the other.


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When her brother dies of AIDS and her husband dies of cancer in the same year, Rosemary is left on her own with two young daughters and antsy addiction demons dancing in her head. This is the nucleus of The Art of Losing It: a young mother jerking from emergency to emergency as the men in her life drop dead around her; a high-functioning radio show host waging war with her When her brother dies of AIDS and her husband dies of cancer in the same year, Rosemary is left on her own with two young daughters and antsy addiction demons dancing in her head. This is the nucleus of The Art of Losing It: a young mother jerking from emergency to emergency as the men in her life drop dead around her; a high-functioning radio show host waging war with her addictions while trying to raise her two little girls who just lost their daddy; and finally, a stint in rehab and sobriety that ushers in a fresh brand of chaos instead of the tranquility her family so desperately needs. Heartrending but ultimately hopeful, The Art of Losing It is the story of a struggling mother who finds her way―slowly, painfully―from one side of grief and addiction to the other.

51 review for The Art of Losing It: A Memoir of Grief and Addiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Nagrodski

    The first part of "The Art of Losing It" tells the story of the worst year of Rosemary Keevil's life; and the second part takes place ten years later as she's still struggling to recover. The first part is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to live that situation; and I think Keevil should be commended for her honesty and bravery. Unfortunately, the second part wasn't as good. We don't really get to understand how things spiralled for Rosemary in th The first part of "The Art of Losing It" tells the story of the worst year of Rosemary Keevil's life; and the second part takes place ten years later as she's still struggling to recover. The first part is both beautiful and heartbreaking. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to live that situation; and I think Keevil should be commended for her honesty and bravery. Unfortunately, the second part wasn't as good. We don't really get to understand how things spiralled for Rosemary in the time since her husband's death; and her recovery just suddenly somehow happens. Despite this, I did enjoy this read. Thank you to the publisher and to Netgalley for the chance to read this one!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mom_Loves_Reading

    Q: Do you read memoirs by people you aren't familiar with, meaning a non-celebrity? I love memoirs in both audio book & physical book fashion, & I have really enjoyed some fascinating ones this past year. This debut book & new release is one of those. Raw with brutal & brave honesty, this heartbreaking, powerful & often intense with candor memoir reminded me so much of someone I know. That person lost loved ones & struggled with keeping their battle with a past addiction at bay, for the sake of t Q: Do you read memoirs by people you aren't familiar with, meaning a non-celebrity? I love memoirs in both audio book & physical book fashion, & I have really enjoyed some fascinating ones this past year. This debut book & new release is one of those. Raw with brutal & brave honesty, this heartbreaking, powerful & often intense with candor memoir reminded me so much of someone I know. That person lost loved ones & struggled with keeping their battle with a past addiction at bay, for the sake of their kids, & hopefully for their sake as well. The book is divided into two-parts as Rosemary Keevil shows us in her own words the mother, wife & sister she was, & who she became when she lost so much of herself after losing two loved ones within 6 mos. She eventually found the courage & strength to get her act together for her daughter, but also for herself. 'The Art of Losing It' is a very thought-provoking & poignant memoir & is available now.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Elise Schiller

    This is a well-written and at times heart-breaking book. The author has a lot of courage both to tell this story and to explore some tough questions. Well-done!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn LaTorre

    Just as I was feeling sorry for myself because of a physical ailment, I read this book and was whisked away from my pain into that of the author. This heart-felt and brutally honest story took me into the anguish of the Keevil family as they struggle to survive. The author fights to overcome her young husband’s death, her drug abuse, and her difficulties in raising her two daughters. Most of the scenes take place in hospitals, therapy sessions, or driving between them. We learn about treatments Just as I was feeling sorry for myself because of a physical ailment, I read this book and was whisked away from my pain into that of the author. This heart-felt and brutally honest story took me into the anguish of the Keevil family as they struggle to survive. The author fights to overcome her young husband’s death, her drug abuse, and her difficulties in raising her two daughters. Most of the scenes take place in hospitals, therapy sessions, or driving between them. We learn about treatments that work and some that don’t. The descriptive first-person narrative plunges the reader into the emotions of this young wife and mother as she attempts to take care of her dying husband, her failing brother, and her young daughters. The book is sometimes difficult to get through but worth it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Rozier

    This is a memoir of Rosemary Keevil and her journey with grief, addiction and eventual healing. This book is broken up into two parts. Part one address Rosemary’s journey as her husband, Barry is diagnosed with cancer and dies within a year of finding out he is sick. Rosemary’s older brother dies 6 months after Barry from complication of AIDS. Barry is 41, Rosemary is 37 and they have two young girls Willow and Dixie (5 and 2) when Barry dies. Part two of this memoir addresses Rosemary’s addiction This is a memoir of Rosemary Keevil and her journey with grief, addiction and eventual healing. This book is broken up into two parts. Part one address Rosemary’s journey as her husband, Barry is diagnosed with cancer and dies within a year of finding out he is sick. Rosemary’s older brother dies 6 months after Barry from complication of AIDS. Barry is 41, Rosemary is 37 and they have two young girls Willow and Dixie (5 and 2) when Barry dies. Part two of this memoir addresses Rosemary’s addiction to cocaine, alcohol and prescription pills. This part is 10 years after Barry dies and 6 years after Rosemary becomes addicted . Rosemary goes to rehab for a month to become sober and then must figure out how to live a sober life with the teenager girls. The end of the memoir has the three Keevil girls going to a family retreat to address how to have a new normal now that Rosemary is sober. My thoughts.. I enjoyed this book and I read it in two sittings. I read part one in one sitting as we travel with Rosemary as she deals with the diagnosis and rapid decline of her husband. I appreciate Rosemary’s honesty as she talks about being at odds and feeling guilty as she struggles with her daily life taking care of a sick husband, two little girls and trying to check on her dying brother. As she literally is just treading water trying to survive, while dealing with the world of health care and the in and out of hospital visits. I read part 2 in a second sitting and really appreciated the growth that Rosemary achieves during her rehab while at the same time feeling guilty about not being with her kids as she tries to get sober. In a memoir such as this, I hate to say I have favorite parts but I liked the way every chapter is titled with a song lyric. I also liked the end of the memoir when Rosemary and the girls go to group counseling for a week and how that really begins the true family healing process. The idea of dysfunctional equilibrium at the end of the book makes total sense. I’ll let you grab this book and find out for yourself what that is.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    This book is spilt into two parts...The first half features a happy time. A time when Rosemary was married to a great guy, Barry. Sadly, Barry gets diagnosed with cancer. Yet, he is not the only man in Rosemary's life that gets bad new. Rosemary's brother gets handed a death sentence. Rosemary finds herself having her life turned upset down. She has to learn how to navigate caring for both her husband and brother as well as being a mom to her two girls. Both Barry and Rosemary's brother, pass aw This book is spilt into two parts...The first half features a happy time. A time when Rosemary was married to a great guy, Barry. Sadly, Barry gets diagnosed with cancer. Yet, he is not the only man in Rosemary's life that gets bad new. Rosemary's brother gets handed a death sentence. Rosemary finds herself having her life turned upset down. She has to learn how to navigate caring for both her husband and brother as well as being a mom to her two girls. Both Barry and Rosemary's brother, pass away within six months of each other. The second half of the book, explores a bit into Rosemary's spiral downhill into addiction, rehab, and second chances. Rosemary's addiction shows just how easily anyone could fall down the dark rabbit hole. Although, I did feel like the latter half of the story was a bit light on details. Overall, though this was a good read. I applaud Rosemary for sharing her story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jade

    This was a very intense memoir following Rosemary Keevil's life and her children as they were going through multiple traumatic and life-changing moments. Although I have not been in the same circumstances as Rosemary, I have been in situations that have resulted in PTSD, anxiety, and depression feeling as though everything that could be going wrong is all at the same time. This is a book for people that are struggling and have lost a loved one. This book may help people understand that other peo This was a very intense memoir following Rosemary Keevil's life and her children as they were going through multiple traumatic and life-changing moments. Although I have not been in the same circumstances as Rosemary, I have been in situations that have resulted in PTSD, anxiety, and depression feeling as though everything that could be going wrong is all at the same time. This is a book for people that are struggling and have lost a loved one. This book may help people understand that other people have gone through the same things, and although things have changed there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. I cried, laughed, and smiles through many parts of this book and would recommend this memoir.

  8. 4 out of 5

    CR

    This one was a very interesting memoir. I felt so much for Rosemary and what he had gone through. I haven't been in her shoes per say but I have been in a situation where it looked like the world was crashing around you. And there was just no way out. This is the book for all struggling people. I think that this tale would help them. This one was a very interesting memoir. I felt so much for Rosemary and what he had gone through. I haven't been in her shoes per say but I have been in a situation where it looked like the world was crashing around you. And there was just no way out. This is the book for all struggling people. I think that this tale would help them.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kayo

    Great read on making your way back to life after tragedies hit you. Loved hearing about author and her children going thru treatment to make the family wh0le again. Definitely must read book. Thanks to author,publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book. While I got the book for free,it had no bearing on the rating I gave it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia_entrelineas

    Such a powerful book! So honest!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Reilly

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Book review: The Art or Losing It by @rosemarykeevil ✨ Wow. What a memoir. This was a heavy read. Initially, I was drawn into this book because of the location and how I could relate to the space in which this took place. I grew up just outside of Vancouver and would head to Whistler on occasion. The author and her family lived in West Vancouver and would go to Whistler on the weekends. After experiencing those similarities, l was captured by the author’s tale. She went through hell and back as a Book review: The Art or Losing It by @rosemarykeevil ✨ Wow. What a memoir. This was a heavy read. Initially, I was drawn into this book because of the location and how I could relate to the space in which this took place. I grew up just outside of Vancouver and would head to Whistler on occasion. The author and her family lived in West Vancouver and would go to Whistler on the weekends. After experiencing those similarities, l was captured by the author’s tale. She went through hell and back as a young mother in such a short time. This memoir details her husband’s devastating battle with cancer, losing her brother to AIDS 6 months after losing her husband and her subsequent alcohol and cocaine addiction while single parenting her two young daughters. This book was honest, raw and emotional. The author did not shy away from the truth, even when it did not paint her in a positive light. She also checks her privilege throughout the story and always focuses on things to be grateful for. What a profound memoir to share with us. I hope this was helpful on her healing journey. By the end of the book, the author gets sober and works on repairing her relationships with her daughters which is absolutely admirable. Thank you @booksparks @shewritespress and @rosemarykeevil for this #gifted copy for the #indiebookbox. This great book is out today!

  12. 4 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    Gripping and heartrending but ultimately hopeful, the recently released memoir THE ART OF LOSING IT is the story of a struggling mother who finds her way ― slowly, painfully ― from one side of grief and addiction to the other. Read an excerpt of Rosemary Keevil's memoir here: https://booktrib.com/2020/11/04/the-a... Gripping and heartrending but ultimately hopeful, the recently released memoir THE ART OF LOSING IT is the story of a struggling mother who finds her way ― slowly, painfully ― from one side of grief and addiction to the other. Read an excerpt of Rosemary Keevil's memoir here: https://booktrib.com/2020/11/04/the-a...

  13. 5 out of 5

    Courtney (candidwithcourtney)

    *3.5 stars

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    I read a lot of addiction and recovery books and I really admire people who write about their experiences and so, Rosemary needs to be commended for being so brutally honest about her life. This memoir was exceptional, for me, because the author spends a considerable amount of time detailing her rehab stay, writing about all the various substances that are out there and what rehab really is. I appreciated this part of the story. The first part is extremely difficult to read. Sad and difficult. Let I read a lot of addiction and recovery books and I really admire people who write about their experiences and so, Rosemary needs to be commended for being so brutally honest about her life. This memoir was exceptional, for me, because the author spends a considerable amount of time detailing her rehab stay, writing about all the various substances that are out there and what rehab really is. I appreciated this part of the story. The first part is extremely difficult to read. Sad and difficult. Let's just say that there was too much going on in this woman's life and you could almost feel the addict in the making. I was surprised at how little support she really got from those around her and she appeared to have no friends at all. Of course, not everyone can hire nannies and basically, not hold a job while bragging, as she does, that "she doesn't have to work". I also thought reading the first part of the story was tough, because I lost my dad when I was 11 and it has left a mark that I cannot seem to get away from. So, I could empathize with the girls up to a point. Having said that, I will be honest...I did not like any of the people in this memoir. I admire Rosemary Kevill for what she did - going to rehab and getting sober is hard. Its really hard. However, wow, mom and the kids were all acting out ALL THE TIME. At what point does the mom turn around and say "that's enough" to her kids? My own mother, who has had to live through her own husband's premature death, to raise two girls on her own, would never have tolerated this behaviour from us. The writing is excellent and the author does not shy away from the bad and the really bad. Do I feel as though I have a better understanding of who Rosemary is? - not sure, but she certainly has a career as a writer, in my opinion. Nonetheless, this was a book that I could not manage to put down. I read in a few days. I hope the Kevill family has slayed some dragons and has healed from at least some of the pain.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This is one of the most vivid and compelling memoirs I’ve read. Rosemary Keevil takes us on a riveting journey through the untimely and heartbreaking death of her husband and brother, and then through her own struggle and recovery from addiction. I found her story extremely relatable for anyone who has suffered the death of a spouse, and particularly with young children at home. The Art of Losing It is a hopeful story of healing from family tragedy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lucianna Wolfstone

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christa Derr

  18. 4 out of 5

    Anna

  19. 5 out of 5

    Charlie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Wilcox

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Cheresnick

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alison

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alvenne

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tara

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sharon

  27. 4 out of 5

    Vaibhav

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Huether

  29. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Rotzien

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steff

  31. 5 out of 5

    Brie

  32. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

  33. 5 out of 5

    Kim Ellis

  34. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

  35. 4 out of 5

    Carmen Guajardo

  36. 4 out of 5

    A. Buckmaster

  37. 4 out of 5

    Micielle

  38. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Peterson

  39. 4 out of 5

    Book-Lover

  40. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

  41. 5 out of 5

    AC

  42. 5 out of 5

    Bettye Short

  43. 5 out of 5

    Leah

  44. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth Sanders

  45. 5 out of 5

    Lydia Wallace

  46. 5 out of 5

    Melisa Dowling

  47. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Masci

  48. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

  49. 5 out of 5

    Hil

  50. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  51. 4 out of 5

    Gaochoua Vue

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