‘You fail­ure. You dis­as­ter. You dis­gust­ing girl...’

The Herald - Arts - - BOOKS -

psy­chi­a­trists to score pre­scrip­tions and pills.

Through­out, the carousel of ad­dic­tion never stops. Re­peated stints in re­hab saw Mar­nell pay lip ser­vice to vague as­pi­ra­tions about get­ting clean, only to re­turn to her old ways with lit­tle more than a shrug.

Even after land­ing her book deal Mar­nell, now 34, over­dosed on heroin and at one stage her wor­ried agent con­tem­plated em­ploy­ing a ghost writer.

She shouldn’t be like­able, yet her whip smart wit and oo­dles of charm ra­di­ate from the pages. There is a happy end­ing of sorts – not quite clo­sure but per­haps cathar­sis – al­though one can’t help but feel that Mar­nell’s he­do­nism-fu­elled ad­ven­ture is far from over.

Cat Mar­nell grew up in an af­flu­ent sub­urb of Wash­ing­ton but clashes with her staunchly con­ser­va­tive parents made for a mis­er­able child­hood

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