I recently finished reading MacKenzie Phillips High On Arrival. I always have enjoyed reading memoirs and autobiographies. Oh, don't worry, I took a pass on James Frey's A Million Little Pieces, if for no other reason because it was on Oprah's book list. If a book is on that list, it's the kiss of death for me. The first book on her list I purchased Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. I don't have the letters "PHD" after my name, but I'm not unintelligent. I just could not read and comprehend that book. I read the first page over and over and could not for the life of me figure out the point.
Back to High On Arrival, Anastasia asked me why I would even consider reading such a depressing book. I don't look at it that way. This book is about someone who, seemingly grew up in a life of privilege with much success and lots of money, it's also about someone who even with that, had a life filled with very serious issues. A very troubled life. It makes my life seem like a cake walk in comparison.
When I first saw MacKenzie Phillips on the talk shows I was skeptical of her story about her father having sex with her and then her eventually having a consensual (if you can consider someone so under the influence of drugs consenting) relationship for a time with her father, John Phillips of the Mamas & The Papas. After having read the book, I'm not so skeptical.
Some of MacKenzie Phillips' recollections of her parents drug fueled days make it hard not to understand her drug abuse. Having seemingly limitless quantities of cocaine and heroin in your household certainly must give you a different view of drugs in general. While to some it may make them want to avoid it, to others I'm sure it's a way of glorifying it and saying it's acceptable. It's too bad social services wasn't involved while she was young. She does report that social services was involved with her younger step siblings.
This was definitely a book that I had trouble putting down. I read through it quickly, turning page after page wondering what things she had to deal with and how on earth she managed to get to where she is today...a recovering addict at age 50.
Did you read High On Arrival? What did you think?
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