Cleveland, Ohio, 2003. A young man is just a college freshman when he meets Emily. They share a passion for Edward Albee and ecstasy and fall hard and fast in love. But soon Emily has to move home to Elba, New York, and he flunks out of school and joins the army. Desperate to keep their relationship alive, they marry before he ships out to Iraq. But as an army medic, he is unprepared for the grisly reality that awaits him. His fellow soldiers smoke; they huff computer duster; they take painkillers; they watch porn. And many of them die. He and Emily try to make their long-distance marriage work, but when he returns from Iraq, his PTSD is profound, and the drugs on the street have changed. The opioid crisis is beginning to swallow up the Midwest. Soon he is hooked on heroin, and so is Emily. They attempt a normal life, but with their money drying up, he turns to the one thing he thinks he could be really good at – robbing banks.
Hammered out on a prison typewriter, Cherry marks the arrival of a raw, bleakly hilarious, and surprisingly poignant voice straight from the dark heart of America.
Thank you Alfred A. Knopf #partner for gifting me this book, in exchange of an honest review. All opinions are my own.
No Star rating on this one, because I cannot rate the life that Nico Walker lived.
What I didn’t know before going into this, was that man in this book is actually Nico Walker,this was a fictionalized account of his life, and that Nico Walker is currently serving time in prison for being convicted of being a serial bank robber. He did suffer from PTSD, and he did suffer from Opioid addiction. This book is based in Ohio, and there is a huge crisis there, and in the state I live with Opioid use. So while I thought this was going to just be a gut wrenching read, it was made even more so, because the young man who wrote this book, actually suffered through what was written on the pages.
As far as PTSD, that part was relatable to me, I have someone close to me that suffers from it, and someone in my past who I witnessed suffer from it. PTSD is a very real topic, and something that should never be taken lightly. I appreciate that Nico Walker wrote about what he went through, and I appreciate that he shed light on a topic that I do not see often in books. This was such a real, and gut wrenching read, it really just had me in an emotional state whilst reading it. But, I am glad that I did. I liked Walker’s writing style, for a debut it was really fantastic. He is pure, and honest, and he doesn’t sugar coat things. I implore you to read the article I’m sharing below on Nico.
***Also, if anyone is interested in reading this book, and lives in the U.S. I have an extra copy, if you leave a comment on this review, I will pick a winner and send them a copy****