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Wholly Unmanageable, a tragicomic memoir of rehab, rebellion and raging thirst


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With her 50th birthday looming fast, Ottawa mother of three, Angela Chase, is spinning out of control on the booze-slicked highway of her addiction—again. She enters rehab—Paterson Place Ottawa—for the first time ever, hoping for a hiatus from her “life sentence on Planet Hell.”

Angela anticipates a sympathetic spa-like reprieve but what awaits her instead are bare-bones accommodations, bad food and a nasty blend of tough love wielded by Gill and Gabe, a hardass duo of non-credentialed counsellors who are much more experienced with prison inmates than “candy-ass middle-classers” like Angela.

In this richly scathing account of what definitely didn’t work for her in the way of addiction treatment, we follow Angela, “Chaser of Dragons,” on the darkly riotous ups and downs of an adult child of Catholic workaholics who began a teenage quest for “never-feeling-bad-again” in pursuit of a Holy Grail brimming with false cheer.

For anyone who’s ever been enslaved by compulsion, betrayed by a rehab, or simply addicted to memoirs of addiction, Wholly Unmanageable offers Chase’s gripping take on a problem doubtlessly as old as the discovery of fermentation.

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