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Surviving Magnelia Monsoon cover

  • eBook Edition
    • 978-1-03-916926-5
    • epub, pdf files
  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-03-916924-1
    • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 414 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-03-916925-8
    • 5.5 x 8.5 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 414 pages
  • Keywords
    • Alcoholism,
    • Surviving alcoholism,
    • Intergenerational trauma,
    • Hidden pain of alcoholic,
    • Alcoholic memoir,
    • Alcoholics anonymous,
    • Living with alcoholism

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Surviving Magnelia Monsoon
Beyond 1215 and the Bottle
by Maggie Jansen

The seeds of alcoholism are often planted deep in the shadows of childhood, growing silently and unnoticed until it inevitably blooms into an active problem that can derail and destroy lives, careers, and families. Surviving Magnelia Monsoon: Beyond 1215 and the Bottle is a raw, intimate, and inspiring memoir, vividly detailing the author’s descent into alcoholism, and how (after decades of struggle), she finally managed to reclaim joy, love, and family from the depths of a despair she’d been sure would never end. From a childhood that grew more and more dysfunctional as her parents’ marriage dissolved into tears, raised voices, and raised fists, eventually ending in divorce and estrangement, the narrative follows the author’s struggles to feel safe or loved after her mother’s departure, to calm the chaotic storm left in her wake, and to fill the growing emptiness, threatening to swallow her whole, with anything that might take the pain away, or at least numb her to it for a while. She manages to keep a mask of normalcy firmly in place for years (more or less), and build a near-perfect life with a loving family of her own, but with alcohol degrading its foundations, a collapse is inevitable—a collapse that will leave her with no choice but to get help or die buried under the rubble. Contradicting the egregious and harmful stereotype of alcoholics being weak-willed or “lesser than,” this memoir showcases the incredible strength needed to even function under the weight of denial, rationalizations, and self-loathing, let alone accomplish anything, as well as the fact that it is a disease that doesn’t discriminate based on birth or circumstance. It can affect anyone … and does. No alcoholic is truly alone in their struggle. It is all too common. But there is always a way out.

"Jansen writes with a deft hand and has created a vivid story that takes us from her difficult childhood to her struggle and battle with alcoholism. Compelling and raw, this book is an honest portrayal of this terrible disease." —Marina Nemat, Author of Prisoner of Tehran and After Tehran. "Surviving Magnelia Monsoon is a deeply moving and honest account of the startling and dreadful power alcohol wields in the life of the addict and her family. In stunning turns of phrase and glinting, keenly observed memories, Maggie Jansen depicts a life on the edge: of addiction, destruction, and ultimately, recovery and grace." —Catherine Black, Author of Bewilderness, A Hard Gold Thread, and Lessons of Chaos. "Surviving Magnelia Monsoon is about the unexpected arrival of grace. A fully immersive, intricately crafted story, it is about a woman's struggle to survive. It is also about finding enduring love, raising daughters, being a mother and a wife, and forging a strong confident identity. This book is a searing and unforgettable read—a testament to the human capacity for forgiveness and change." —Ranjini George, Author of Through My Mother's Window. "Jansen is a brilliant storyteller with an exacting eye for detail. She gave this non-drinker a convincing taste of the destructive lure of alcohol and a renewed belief in the restorative power of hope." —Meg Weber, Author of “A Year of Mr. Lucky”. "There is a well of strength within us that whispers for recognition in a lifetime. It is our “life’s breath” — that which allows us to live fully — and I call it “love.” Jansen shares with us her “sunlight of the spirit” or “love” — the witness within that surpasses all obstacles." —Tannice Goddard, Designer

Maggie Jansen photo

Author Maggie Jansen has been sober since July 16 2006, something she never would have imagined possible during her drinking years. With an Honours English Degree from the University of Waterloo and a certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education, Maggie has worked in libraries, bookstores, and publishing (co-op), has taught adult “English as a Second Language” courses, and has written press releases for public relations and special events (in addition to the various jobs referenced in her memoir). She currently lives with David, her recently retired husband of thirty-five years, and their mini-Australian shepherd in three different places: their home in Mississauga, which was their main residence when she hit bottom; “Periwinkle,” the cottage they built on Chandos Lake; and in Kauai. They also have a camper van in which they have driven across Canada and the United States several times. She and her husband have two adult daughters: Rachel, a writer; and Michelle, who lives and works in Toronto, with her husband and newborn daughter.


Maggie Jansen

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