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One Good Reason: A Memoir of Addiction and Recovery, Music and Love

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In this deeply personal memoir, co-written with wife Andrea Aragon, singer-songwriter and renowned mental health, addiction, and recovery advocate Séan McCann leaves no stone unturned. Detailing, in powerful and lyrical prose, a childhood in Newfoundland indoctrinated in strict Catholic faith, the creation of the wildly successful Great Big Sea, his courtship and early mar In this deeply personal memoir, co-written with wife Andrea Aragon, singer-songwriter and renowned mental health, addiction, and recovery advocate Séan McCann leaves no stone unturned. Detailing, in powerful and lyrical prose, a childhood in Newfoundland indoctrinated in strict Catholic faith, the creation of the wildly successful Great Big Sea, his courtship and early marriage with Aragon, and the battle with alcoholism that nearly cost him everything, McCann offers readers a love story, a memoir of addiction and recovery, of young love and a strained marriage, of reaching international fame and rock bottom. But most of all, an honest, raw, and inspiring tribute to embracing that we are all worth saving. At the heart of this insightful coming-of-recovery is McCann's exploration of the root cause of his alcoholism, a secret he kept until 2014 when he came out as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Aragon's parallel narrative offers a rare and intimate spousal perspective, making the memoir a nuanced and complex portrait of the effects of addiction on family. Featuring lyrics from McCann's celebrated solo career and photographs of his life and career, as well as original line drawings from singer-songwriter and visual artist Meaghan Smith, One Good Reason is a rallying cry for holding on to the ones you love, helping yourself, and turning music into medicine.


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In this deeply personal memoir, co-written with wife Andrea Aragon, singer-songwriter and renowned mental health, addiction, and recovery advocate Séan McCann leaves no stone unturned. Detailing, in powerful and lyrical prose, a childhood in Newfoundland indoctrinated in strict Catholic faith, the creation of the wildly successful Great Big Sea, his courtship and early mar In this deeply personal memoir, co-written with wife Andrea Aragon, singer-songwriter and renowned mental health, addiction, and recovery advocate Séan McCann leaves no stone unturned. Detailing, in powerful and lyrical prose, a childhood in Newfoundland indoctrinated in strict Catholic faith, the creation of the wildly successful Great Big Sea, his courtship and early marriage with Aragon, and the battle with alcoholism that nearly cost him everything, McCann offers readers a love story, a memoir of addiction and recovery, of young love and a strained marriage, of reaching international fame and rock bottom. But most of all, an honest, raw, and inspiring tribute to embracing that we are all worth saving. At the heart of this insightful coming-of-recovery is McCann's exploration of the root cause of his alcoholism, a secret he kept until 2014 when he came out as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Aragon's parallel narrative offers a rare and intimate spousal perspective, making the memoir a nuanced and complex portrait of the effects of addiction on family. Featuring lyrics from McCann's celebrated solo career and photographs of his life and career, as well as original line drawings from singer-songwriter and visual artist Meaghan Smith, One Good Reason is a rallying cry for holding on to the ones you love, helping yourself, and turning music into medicine.

30 review for One Good Reason: A Memoir of Addiction and Recovery, Music and Love

  1. 5 out of 5

    Asia Hoge

    For anyone facing challenges in their relationship with a loved one who is an addict, this book provides much-needed hope. In a time when many couples go their separate ways for much less, these two chose each other and their family. It’s not a happily-ever-after story, but a happy-new-beginning for them. They don’t pretend that it will be easy, only that they are committed to making their love and family work. What an amazing couple! The world definitely needs more of this inspiration!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    Best book about abuse/addiction/support I’ve ever read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Carle St-Jacques

    While I had an idea of what would be talked about in this book I don't think one could ever be prepared to read it. Séan and Andrea take you through what their lives were like as teenagers all the way to now and don't hold anything back. Séan has spent most of his life on a stage performing in front of thousands of people, I would have to believe that it takes a whole different type of courage to write down for the whole world to learn of the sexual abuse he was victim to. Séan and Andrea's stor While I had an idea of what would be talked about in this book I don't think one could ever be prepared to read it. Séan and Andrea take you through what their lives were like as teenagers all the way to now and don't hold anything back. Séan has spent most of his life on a stage performing in front of thousands of people, I would have to believe that it takes a whole different type of courage to write down for the whole world to learn of the sexual abuse he was victim to. Séan and Andrea's story is not so much one of pain and struggle and addiction. But one of hope and courage and recovery. A story that shows no matter whatever the demons are that you keep secret there is someone out there going through something similar. You are not alone. One Good Reason is an example of no matter how happy and excited and bounding with energy you just never know what is really going on with their life. It's hard to find the right words to describe just how I feel after reading One Good Reason. Is it right to say you 'liked' a book that is a story full of pain? Should it change how I feel about the memories I have from all the GBS concerts?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Joelle

    Gritty, endearing and hopeful. Trauma and addiction are so powerful, it’s so easy to become lost. Many of these same themes mirror my own path and it’s nice to see the success of both the authors. Best of luck to their future.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Teena in Toronto

    Séan McCann is a singer and musician and founding member of Canadian band, Great Big Sea. He left the band at the end of December 2013. Andrea Aragon is his wife and mother of their two children. This book is their story. Séan was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland. He and his family were Catholic and their priest befriended the family when he was in his teens. This same priest sexually abused Séan, which has stayed with him for the rest of his life. Not able to deal with what happened, Séan McCann is a singer and musician and founding member of Canadian band, Great Big Sea. He left the band at the end of December 2013. Andrea Aragon is his wife and mother of their two children. This book is their story. Séan was born and raised in St. John's, Newfoundland. He and his family were Catholic and their priest befriended the family when he was in his teens. This same priest sexually abused Séan, which has stayed with him for the rest of his life. Not able to deal with what happened, Séan turned to alcohol and his dependency on it only increased over the years. When he and his friends formed Great Big Sea and their popularity grew, they become known as a party band which encouraged Séan's lifestyle of drinking to excess. Andrea is an American, the daughter of an alcoholic and had an unstable childhood. After divorcing her first husband, she moved to Colorado to start over and find herself. It was there that she met Séan after a Great Big Sea concert and there was a spark. She eventually moved to Newfoundland to be with him, they got married and had two children. As Séan's alcoholism grew worse, their marriage began to fall apart. She eventually gave him an ultimatum ... quit drinking or she was moving back home to Minneapolis with the kids. Happily he chose his family over liquor. He has since embarked on a solo career and has become a mental health advocate. I am/was a fan of Great Big Sea and have read band member Alan Doyle's two books so was interested in reading Séan's book. The chapters alternate between Séan and Andrea's stories ... it took me a couple chapters to realize that. If there is a guitar icon at the beginning of the chapter when it's Séan's voice and a heart when it's Andrea's voice. I liked the writing style ... I found it honest. It was interesting to get the two perspectives (Séan's and Andrea's) of the same events. Blog review post: http://www.teenaintoronto.com/2020/03...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Holly Melissa

    Séan McCann and Andrea Aragon’s “themoir” is a brave and brutally honest retelling of their relationship, the many odds that were stacked against them, and the rocky, yet rewarding road to redemption they had to travel together. The writing reveals two truths, equal in their magnitudes, and the personalities of both Séan and Andrea bleed freely through the lines. It is a story of tragedy. It is a story of abuse. It is a story of addiction. It is a story of heart-break. It is a story of rock-bott Séan McCann and Andrea Aragon’s “themoir” is a brave and brutally honest retelling of their relationship, the many odds that were stacked against them, and the rocky, yet rewarding road to redemption they had to travel together. The writing reveals two truths, equal in their magnitudes, and the personalities of both Séan and Andrea bleed freely through the lines. It is a story of tragedy. It is a story of abuse. It is a story of addiction. It is a story of heart-break. It is a story of rock-bottom. It is a story of ultimate sacrifice. It is a story of loyalty. It is a story of perseverance. It is a story of realization. It is a story of acknowledgement. It is a story of faith. It is a story of love. It is a story of life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    A great memoir. It's also an honest take on addiction, and why people both slide into alcoholism/substance abuse, as well as the importance of support systems for recovery. Worth checking out, either as a fan of Great Big Sea and/or as a piece about mental health/addictions. A great memoir. It's also an honest take on addiction, and why people both slide into alcoholism/substance abuse, as well as the importance of support systems for recovery. Worth checking out, either as a fan of Great Big Sea and/or as a piece about mental health/addictions.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Janalynn

    Raw and emotional and so, so honest. This memoir was way more than I was expecting.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Paula Dembeck

    Séan McCann and his wife Andrea Aragon have co-written a deeply moving, personal, raw and heartwarming memoir. He is the founder of Great Big Sea, Newfoundland’s most successful bar band. She was an American who met the singer/songwriter at a concert in Colorado, fell in love and married him. But their life together has been a rocky one, marred by his addiction to alcohol which helped him hide the horrible secret he kept most of his life, that as a boy, he had been sexually abused by a priest, a Séan McCann and his wife Andrea Aragon have co-written a deeply moving, personal, raw and heartwarming memoir. He is the founder of Great Big Sea, Newfoundland’s most successful bar band. She was an American who met the singer/songwriter at a concert in Colorado, fell in love and married him. But their life together has been a rocky one, marred by his addiction to alcohol which helped him hide the horrible secret he kept most of his life, that as a boy, he had been sexually abused by a priest, a secret he never revealed until 2014. The couple tell their story in alternating chapters, his penned with a small guitar on the first page of his chapters, hers with a small heart. McCann looks back at growing up in Newfoundland where he was raised a devout Catholic. On the island, religion played an important part in everyone’s life and children were indoctrinated into the faith early in life, forced to learn and accept its teachings and never to question it authority. McCann felt special when the family priest began taking a personal interest in him. A priest was the most powerful person he knew and McCann felt both intimidated and charmed by this man who gradually ingratiated himself into the McCann family, often visiting their home and sharing meals with them. Séan’s mother even gave him a key so he could come and go as he pleased. As their friendship grew, Séan’s began considering a career in the priesthood. Looking back, McCann sees how he was carefully being groomed for future sexual contact. When he was only fifteen years old, the priest secretly introduced him to wine and beer and took him on wild midnight rides where he shot off his illegal rifle. They were sometimes stopped by the Constabulary, but with the priest’s collar on display they were always let go. The priest promised Séan he could meet the Pope if he accompanied him on a trip to Rome. It was during their way at a stop in Paris that the priest got him drunk on cognac and sexually assaulted him as Séan tried unsuccessfully to fight him off. The experience was painful, but worse was the terrible shame and guilt he felt. He continuing to fight off the priest’s advances the rest of the trip and returned home a changed person, carrying the burden of a dark secret and a thirst for liquor that would help drown it out. That was not the only encounter he had with the priest who continued to visit his home, pressure him and later assault him again. Séan felt the easiest way to get those experiences behind him and get on with life was to pretend nothing happened. So that is what he did. But keeping that secret deep down inside him, required increasing amounts of alcohol as the years passed. When he created the party band Great Big Sea, the lifestyle it fostered fitted his needs perfectly, continuing to hide his past trauma but feeding his growing addiction to alcohol. He partied long and hard and with drinking an accepted part of the Newfoundland culture, no one paid much attention. But the years of drinking cost him, leading him to a powerful addiction and almost cost him his wife and family. Every year it took more and more booze and drugs to keep his shame, anger and self-loathing hidden. By the time he was forty he was experiencing blackouts and there were events in his life he just does not remember. Touring had always been a drudgery, with food picked up along the way in gas stations and miles of monotonous roads to travel. The band was packed in a van, where arguing over smoking, bathroom breaks and endless sitting were more easily endured with alcohol and drugs. Following a tour, returning home to a normal life, to being a husband and father was difficult. It was not easy coming down from the adulation of countless fans he had lapped up for days on end. McCann has wisely kept secret much of what happened on those tours fueled with groupies, weed and alcohol. That decision has served to keep his narrative on track, focusing on his personal story rather than the drunken misbehavior of the members of his rocking party band. McCann says he partied harder than anyone, so when he finally quit drinking, his buddies found his more sober self difficult to deal with. McCann for his part, felt isolated and alone, even though he was with his closest friends. Once he finally stopped drinking, he knew he could not stay in the band, the lifestyle always a threat to his hard-won sobriety. He left in 2013, one of the most difficult decisions in his life. It did not go well with his bandmates. They were his friends but the band was a business and there had to be discussions with lawyers and accountants, which are still going on today. The mess that still lingers has left a sorrow Séan still carries to this day. What is fascinating about this account is Aragon’s narrative which reveals how Séan’s alcohol abuse affected her and their family, offering a perspective on alcoholism often missed in other accounts. As she looks back, Aragon realizes she came to her relationship with Séan already damaged by a life growing up with an alcoholic father who treated her mother badly. Andrea watched what went on between her parents as her mother tried unsuccessfully to deal with her father’s drinking and philandering. It taught her one thing: ignoring an issue was an easier and less painful way to deal with a problem than facing it head-on. Her father had a volatile temper and she often became the victim of his caustic tongue. She was hurt that her parents were so wrapped up in their own issues they paid her little attention. Her longing to be cared for led her to bulimia and cutting herself, feeling good that she could experience some physical pain that matched her feelings. She married her first husband Tony when she was only twenty-two. The short tumultuous union did not last. He had a temper, they couldn’t communicate and she had her own issues with drinking, partying and cheating. She met Séan after a Big Sea Concert and the two experienced a deep connection. She followed him back to Newfoundland, they married and started a family. But his alcohol consumption became more and more of a problem. She shares how hurtful it was to deal with an alcoholic, with their anger and the hurtful verbal jabs they would never remember when they were sober. It was during these times Séan sometimes dropped hints about his childhood abuse, but never went further. Their lives continued on the same downward path. Andrea had learned how to be with Séan and tolerate his drinking from the years she spent dealing with her father. She was good at keeping a drunk happy. It was only later that she realized how she had come to their relationship with her own demons and how she had enabled both Séan and her father’s addictions. Things finally come to a head in November of 2011 when Andrea gave Séan an ultimatum. He had to stop drinking or she would take the children and return to the States. So, he stopped, anxious to save his family. And as if to inflict as much pain on himself as possible, he also stopped smoking, both cold turkey. Music and song writing have always been McCann’s spiritual home and he is convinced they saved his life and helped conquer his addiction. Writing a song helped him speak the words that were just too hard to say. The book includes some of the words to these songs and original line drawings from Meeghan Smith. These new songs, written after he left Great Big Sea, are different and more personal, resonating with issues faced by others who have suffered from addiction or abuse. McCann continues to write songs and perform but is also a mental health, addiction and recovery advocate. He has heavily criticized the Catholic Church for allowing pedophilia to continue, hiding what are clearly crimes with convenient Catholic dogma that allows perpetrators to hide behind the skirts of the clergy. Each Pope has vowed to deal with the issue, but has done little. He also criticizes the huge corporations that publicly state they support those with mental health problems but spend their money on publicity rather than on initiatives that do something for those who are suffering. And he challenges the federal government to do better supporting their veterans who have fought for their country but returned home wounded physically and mentally, many of whom are homeless. McCann has written this book because he believes sharing can lead to healing. Readers will be struck by the sincerity with which he tells his story. Some may find his prose somewhat reserved compared to the lyrics of his songs, but it is music with which he is most comfortable. Séan McCann says he is working harder now for a lot less money, but he is happier. It is heartening to read about the loyalty this couple have to each other and to their family and their courage they must have to let so many into the private space of their lives. It took determination, honesty and courage. Alcoholism is a difficult demon to beat. She entices you with her siren song and whispers in your ear when times are tough. Some chose to go with her, unable to part with her company for long. Others confront her and try to get away at least for a short while, but she always pulls them back. Few who try to leave her behind are successful. It is always easy to walk away from a difficult and overwhelming problem. It is harder to literally, face the music. Séan McCann faced the music and then he wrote it down. He continues to do so. And he has also become a light for the lost, helping people to help themselves.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Delaney H

    This book was powerful. I read it as often as I could until I finished it. I have been a huge GBS fan since I was 7 years old and they released Play. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen them live in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. Sean always seemed moody and distant to me, as if he just wasn’t completely happy. I remember meeting Bob and Alan in Winnipeg in 2006. They were so kind as to take photos and sign our CDs. Sean walked by and didn’t have the time of day for us. It’s hard to see someone you This book was powerful. I read it as often as I could until I finished it. I have been a huge GBS fan since I was 7 years old and they released Play. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen them live in Winnipeg and Thunder Bay. Sean always seemed moody and distant to me, as if he just wasn’t completely happy. I remember meeting Bob and Alan in Winnipeg in 2006. They were so kind as to take photos and sign our CDs. Sean walked by and didn’t have the time of day for us. It’s hard to see someone you admire so much act so surly. It makes sense now. I have wanted to know Sean’s story for many years. It was more touching and emotional than I ever imagined. I didn’t know what to expect reading this book about addiction and recovery as I have no experience with it. Sean, thank you so much for opening yourself up to your fans like this. Your story is inspiring and I was completely wrapped up in it. I especially liked reading things from Andrea’s perspective, trying to hold it together for your family behind the scenes. I’m so glad I preordered this and obtained a hardcover copy. It will live on my bookshelf forever.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Merrie121

    Well written, heart wrenching. Leaving so many angry thoughts and disappointments

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katherine Krige

    Living the rock and roll lifestyle isn't always everything it is cracked up to be. It comes with booze, drugs, long days and nights on the road, and not quite as much emotional support as you might think. But it is a great place to hide in plain sight, when you have demons you want to drown. Sadly, ignoring those demons is not a permanent answer that can be sustained forever. And Sean McCann is all too familiar with that. One Good Reason is a memoir that lifts the veil on McCann's struggles with Living the rock and roll lifestyle isn't always everything it is cracked up to be. It comes with booze, drugs, long days and nights on the road, and not quite as much emotional support as you might think. But it is a great place to hide in plain sight, when you have demons you want to drown. Sadly, ignoring those demons is not a permanent answer that can be sustained forever. And Sean McCann is all too familiar with that. One Good Reason is a memoir that lifts the veil on McCann's struggles with addiction, brought on by abuse when he was a teenager. It is co-written with his wife Andrea Aragon, which makes it particularly poignant, as you see both sides of how his addiction affects not only him, but the people around him. Aragon was no stranger to demons herself, but as she and McCann share their story, they show us how dropping the secrets and dealing with them together can make all the difference. I was sent an ARC to review for this book, but was happy to do so already being a GBS fan. Learning the backstory behind the scenes was sobering, but seeing the healing that came out of telling the tale in love was uplifting. For more of my review, visit my blog.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Rich

    This is a well-written book about a life of struggles for one of the key members of Great Big Sea (one of my all-time favorite bands). It tells the story of sexual abuse, McCann's struggle with that during his life and the alcoholism that followed. It "bares the soul" of a talented musician and gives a great insight into the struggle. The story is told from both Sean's perspective as well as from the perspective of Andrea, his wife. In the back-and-forth, comes a revealing story and how it was de This is a well-written book about a life of struggles for one of the key members of Great Big Sea (one of my all-time favorite bands). It tells the story of sexual abuse, McCann's struggle with that during his life and the alcoholism that followed. It "bares the soul" of a talented musician and gives a great insight into the struggle. The story is told from both Sean's perspective as well as from the perspective of Andrea, his wife. In the back-and-forth, comes a revealing story and how it was dealt with from the addict and from one who had to deal with, and work to assist, the addict. In this two-sided approach, I believe the insight into the struggle was truly revealed. Along the way, there is an indictment of the Catholic Church and its now well-documented handling of sexual abusers in their midst. There is also some insight into the Great Big Sea story of rise to success and eventual breakup that was initiated by McCann due to his addiction. Being a fan of GBS, this added to the interest of the story but rest assured that in no way do you need to be a fan of GBS to appreciate the story here. Well told. Good luck to you Sean.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Morgan

    3.5 stars. Like most of us, I came across this book because I am a huge Great Big Sea and now Séan McCann fan. Because I follow Séan on social media, I was aware of his alcoholism and the sexual abuse he endured as a teenager. I was very intrigued when I discovered that this book was co-authored by his wife, Andrea. Séan and Andrea were so open and honest and vulnerable within this book and I appreciate it so much. They let us into their relationship and shared their darkest secrets with us and 3.5 stars. Like most of us, I came across this book because I am a huge Great Big Sea and now Séan McCann fan. Because I follow Séan on social media, I was aware of his alcoholism and the sexual abuse he endured as a teenager. I was very intrigued when I discovered that this book was co-authored by his wife, Andrea. Séan and Andrea were so open and honest and vulnerable within this book and I appreciate it so much. They let us into their relationship and shared their darkest secrets with us and I'm sure it wasn't easy. For that, I give them major credit. I was surprised to find that I actually enjoyed Andrea's writing more than Séan's, which is funny considering Séan writes (songs) for a living. I found some of Séan's chapters a little tedious - from the very detailed family history to the random rant about his kids' addiction to Fortnite, this book could have been about 30 pages shorter than it was. Overall, the story was a good one and I have so much respect for the way Séan and Andrea have put their faith in their relationship and never given up.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I finished reading One Good Reason a few days ago, and I still cannot stop carrying this book around. (Not that I'm really going anywhere, pandemic and all, but still, it keeps making its way around the house with me.) And when I'm not carrying it from the kitchen to the living room to the bedroom, I'm thinking about it. I knew this book was going to be a different flavour than the memoirs from his ex-bandmates, but I was not prepared to so profoundly feel while I was reading it. One Good Reason i I finished reading One Good Reason a few days ago, and I still cannot stop carrying this book around. (Not that I'm really going anywhere, pandemic and all, but still, it keeps making its way around the house with me.) And when I'm not carrying it from the kitchen to the living room to the bedroom, I'm thinking about it. I knew this book was going to be a different flavour than the memoirs from his ex-bandmates, but I was not prepared to so profoundly feel while I was reading it. One Good Reason is written by both Séan McCann and his wife Andrea Aragon. It is the story of the abuse he suffered as a teen, his subsequent addiction to alcohol, and his inspiring recovery. It is a book that proves we can do hard things and that those hard things become easier when we are connected to others, when we hope, and when we never give up. I had so much to say about this book, along with a special personal connection. You can read all about it in a much longer review here on my blog.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kristen M.

    I have been a GBS fan for many years, attended dozens of concerts (including their final cruise) and made local friends in my town. I am also divorced from an alcoholic. When Sean left GBS I was shocked and sad. When he shared his reasons, I understood. I continued to follow both him and Alan on their solo careers. It is poignant to see someone as he has been. Reading this book brought up a lot of emotions in me. I can so relate to Andrea’s descriptions of dealing with inebriation and the frustr I have been a GBS fan for many years, attended dozens of concerts (including their final cruise) and made local friends in my town. I am also divorced from an alcoholic. When Sean left GBS I was shocked and sad. When he shared his reasons, I understood. I continued to follow both him and Alan on their solo careers. It is poignant to see someone as he has been. Reading this book brought up a lot of emotions in me. I can so relate to Andrea’s descriptions of dealing with inebriation and the frustration. “Walking on eggshells” is not just a saying when dealing with an alcoholic- you never know if you will get Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde on any given day. It is exhausting and emotionally wearing. What this book gives the reader is both sides of the story, in honest and unvarnished truth. It may be mildly triggering for some partners dealing with a current addict, but it will help you.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynne Page

    This was a wonderful memoir with a surprisingly difficult life to remember. But through it all, much like through his solo music, there is such hope, light and love. I'd love to give this book 5 stars, but it definitely needed one final set of eyes before publication, as there were quite a few errors that I spotted, but not so much that the read wasn't enjoyable. I'd also LOVE to sit down some day and discuss with this man the other side of social media/technology, as he seems to have a great av This was a wonderful memoir with a surprisingly difficult life to remember. But through it all, much like through his solo music, there is such hope, light and love. I'd love to give this book 5 stars, but it definitely needed one final set of eyes before publication, as there were quite a few errors that I spotted, but not so much that the read wasn't enjoyable. I'd also LOVE to sit down some day and discuss with this man the other side of social media/technology, as he seems to have a great aversion to it as he sees it as only an addiction, and not the social tool that helped some people actually flourish. Well worth the money and well worth the read. Thank you for sharing your stories with us, Séan and Andrea. <3

  18. 5 out of 5

    Paula May

    When I saw Sean’s book and read the overview, I immediately download the book. I have always been a fan of GBS and still am, but that was not the reason why I wanted to read it. I was interested in the book because Sean and Andrea had a story to tell, a hard story, but it was their story of what they endured and how they came to be who they are today despite their circumstances. They fought for their lives and won. I could not put this book down. I went to bed thinking about and would read it wh When I saw Sean’s book and read the overview, I immediately download the book. I have always been a fan of GBS and still am, but that was not the reason why I wanted to read it. I was interested in the book because Sean and Andrea had a story to tell, a hard story, but it was their story of what they endured and how they came to be who they are today despite their circumstances. They fought for their lives and won. I could not put this book down. I went to bed thinking about and would read it when I got up. It made me laugh, sad, angry, frustrated, annoyed, but most of all, it made me feel joy that despite all the odds they were against, love prevailed. Never give up. Spectacular memoir!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    Caught a FB message about Sean McCann about a month ago. Hey I know that guy! Where the hell did he go after Great Big Sea? Began watching the segments and seeing him with his wife. They talked about the book they wrote. When it released, I snagged it. To see the journey they had survived to get where they are now was incredible . Addiction and its underlying causes can be devastating as well as what will make or break you. Thanks for sharing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tory

    I became a Great Big Sea fan in 1996 at McMaster University's welcome week concert. My heart has fluttered for Sean McCann ever since. I was concerned about my crush disappointing me: he didn't. Sean and Andrea's honesty is captivating and their story resonates with me, especially with parallels to my own struggles, and issues with organized religion. Succinct, honest, and heartfelt - I highly recommend this memoir. I became a Great Big Sea fan in 1996 at McMaster University's welcome week concert. My heart has fluttered for Sean McCann ever since. I was concerned about my crush disappointing me: he didn't. Sean and Andrea's honesty is captivating and their story resonates with me, especially with parallels to my own struggles, and issues with organized religion. Succinct, honest, and heartfelt - I highly recommend this memoir.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Enid Wray

    A sad, moving and deeply personal piece. While I appreciate the cathartic need to write this, it doesn’t really add anything new to our knowledge and/or understanding of either the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, or the facts/impacts of inter-generational trauma, or the cycle of addiction and recovery. But I am grateful for the healing that has happened, and I will keep listening to Great Big Sea!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Brenna

    This quick read is also a moving and immensely satisfying memoir of trauma, addiction, music, and recovery. I liked the choice of sharing the focalization between both addict/celebrity and partner, and I appreciated reading McCann’s perspective on a band experience that had been somewhat mythologized in Alan Doyle’s memoir.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Regular

    4.9/5.0 Hidden Gems: I could sin all I wanted but still get to heaven as long as I made it into the confessional at least once a week. As an alcoholic, being in Great Big Sea felt like winning the lottery, and I took full advantage of all the perks. We are made of more than blood and bone. We are made of music and we are made of love.

  24. 5 out of 5

    TBHONEST

    An honest, moving and sometimes emotional look at addiction specifically alcoholism and how it affects not just the alcoholic but those around them. Told from two separate point of views, it gives an insight in to life as an alcoholic and the life of people close to them.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Gower

    Content warning for frank/open discussion of abuse and addiction; while this book was really not written "for me", I got a lot out of it in the end. I learned quite a bit of things I had no idea about re: Great Big Sea. I recommend this one. Content warning for frank/open discussion of abuse and addiction; while this book was really not written "for me", I got a lot out of it in the end. I learned quite a bit of things I had no idea about re: Great Big Sea. I recommend this one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I wrote some blog posts about this: https://atlanticbookstoday.ca/reading... https://atlanticbookstoday.ca/reading... https://atlanticbookstoday.ca/reading... I wrote some blog posts about this: https://atlanticbookstoday.ca/reading... https://atlanticbookstoday.ca/reading... https://atlanticbookstoday.ca/reading...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Garon

    I loved this read. It was very engrossing and hard to put down. It stirred a lot of emotion and anger towards the broken institution of the Catholic Church and the way they handle their priests after the fact. Thanks for sharing your love story.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Britt Johnson

    This was a really raw and honest memoir about abuse, alcoholism and working on recovery. I also found it interesting to read another view of Great Big Sea's time together and demise (I'd previously read A Newfoundlander in Canada by Alan Doyle). This was a really raw and honest memoir about abuse, alcoholism and working on recovery. I also found it interesting to read another view of Great Big Sea's time together and demise (I'd previously read A Newfoundlander in Canada by Alan Doyle).

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shadowmice

    Having attended many of Séan’s shows, I’ve heard many snippets from the one side of the story; I appreciated being able to see both sides of the deeper story in their shared book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    M.A.

    McCann is to be congratulated for facing his demons and overcoming alcohol addiction primarily with music. This book is told in two voices: McCann's wife and McCann. McCann is to be congratulated for facing his demons and overcoming alcohol addiction primarily with music. This book is told in two voices: McCann's wife and McCann.

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