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Bottled up. (Hardcover Fiction).

MURRAY, Jaye. Bottled up. Penguin Putnam, Dial. 220p. c2003. 0-8037-2897-2. $16.99. JS

"Drugs weren't my problem. Life was," 16-year-old Pip claims, but his school principal feels differently. He threatens Pip with expulsion if he doesn't go to counseling to deal with all the weed he smokes and all the drinking he does. Worried about how his abusive father would react to expulsion. Pip reluctantly goes to counseling and slowly starts to deal with his family and drug issues. At first, he keeps everything "bottled up," but when Pip starts to see the effects of his example on his little brother, he begins to understand how his father's alcoholism and his mother's passivity and Valium habit have affected him. He begins to open up in counseling, and gets up the courage to emerge from the drugged haze he's been hiding in and make some changes.

Pip's situation is all too credible, and readers will find this sensitive, angry. and angst-filled young man struggling to deal with a lousy family life a sympathetic protagonist. This is the first novel by Murray, a psychotherapist, and she does a good job putting us inside Pip's head and creating realistic dialogue (there's a bit of swearing, too, for those who need to know). She succeeds in conveying also the hard work of counseling and the help and hope it can provide.
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Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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