Vodka On My Wheaties is like no other book you
have ever read. The events that have happened
to Ann Lloyd are only seen on the silver screen,
but all of her stories are non-fiction. Her book
reads like a novel even though it's an autobiography.
Vodka On My Wheaties is filled with a humorous
potpourri of real life happenings for a wide range
of people to enjoy. The beginning chapters reveal
that Ann was programmed from birth to march to
the beat of a different drum. She was the only child
of neurotic parents and it was not in her nature to
follow the herd. Married at eighteen to a prominent
drug store magnate twice her age, she finds herself,
at the age of twenty-two, a widow. From her sudden
dramatic exposure to a life of opulent wealth and
world travels, Ann and her second husband settled
down to build an exclusive out-island scuba diving
resort in the Bahamas, which attracted the rich
and famous. As a self-appointed, liberated female
the adventures do not stop there. Join in Ann's
kaleidoscopic journey down one of life's most
unusual paths and her ability to "make things
happen." Ann's story is bursting with romance,
adventure, mystery, celebrities, substance abuse,
and much more!
About the Author:
Ann Lloyd was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin,
and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She was
the only child of a professor of Germanic languages
at Western Reserve University (now Case Western
Reserve University) and of an artist.
Ann has three children, nine grandchildren, and
seven great-grandchildren. She currently resides in
Boca Raton, Florida.
Lloyd's unconventional memoir is told with gusto and packed with honest, entertaining episodes. Raised by "intense and neurotic" parents, the quirky narrator with a "mind and a will of [her] own" endures a lonely childhood and tumbles through her colorful life. Tying the knot with her handsome boyfriend results in a dangerous marriage that threatens her life. Her second marriage leads the author to support her new husband's many "failed business enterprises" and then maintain a resort in the Bahamas.
Her brief third marriage leads to substance abuse, as she starts "drowning her depression in vodka." Eventually Lloyd discovers a 12-step program to maintain sobriety, filling the "empty void left by the removal of alcohol" with the "fruits of spirituality." But the onset of an autoimmune disease changes everything and forces Lloyd to remake her life yet again.
A romping, vivacious memoir covering eight decades of one woman's peripatetic
existence that reads as though Katherine Hepburn was dropped into one of Hunter S. Thompson's fever dreams.
From the moment Lloyd thwarts her father's plans to send her to a staid, prim private school for young ladies, the author twists, turns and swivels through marriages, children and countless parties, alongside battles with alcoholism, illness and disappointment. Married early to an eccentric heir to the Standard Drug Company, Lloyd quickly learns that the she's made a ill advised decision and encroaches on what promises to be a very public divorce, the process abruptly cut short when she learns her soon-to-be ex-husband has been killed in a car accident and an inheritance of $1 million has landed at her feet. Lloyd promptly enters into her second marriage and bankrolls her new husband's many failing businesses until they discover Spanish Wells, an island in the Bahamas where the couple opens a scuba resort they successfully helm for 15 years – until tragedy strikes again.
It's at this turn that Lloyd embarks on perhaps the most challenging part of her life as she faces down illness, her long-standing alcoholism and the volatility of love. The author's tone is infectious, if occasionally too digressive, but her tale zigs and zags through so many decadent experiences – travel, luxury and plenty of camp – that the reader can't help but be carried along with the swell. The story crisply refuses to draw a conclusion about the ranging life its protagonist has led, leaving us to revel in the sooty side of bad decisions and the punchy highs brought on by hard-won redemption.
A survivor's story that sometimes buckles under its loquacious tendencies yet reveals a one-of-a-kind life bound together by abandon, resilience and pure fun.
No one's life is anything that resembles normal. "Vodka On My Wheaties" is a memoir of Ann Lloyd, as she expresses her own journey through eight decades of life, finding that nothing about her is normal, and she shares her story well and leaves readers with humor and a strong message. "Vodka On My Wheaties" is an excellent read, a fine addition to any memoir collection.
The Midwest Book Review
Ann Lloyd has surely endured a complicated life, which is detailed in her tangled but engaging memoir, Vodka on My Wheaties. Born to comfortable but neurotic parents in Cleveland, she first marries a wealthy and socially prominent eccentric. Next comes a lay-about Englishman she supports through a number of schemes, including ownership of a Bahamas resort, at which point she finally recognizes him as the strangely gullible con-artist he has been all along. And finally, there is a brief marriage of convenience to a Bible-toting, two-fisted drinker.
At the end of a series of adventures, Lloyd is rescued from pills and booze by a twelve-step program, only to find that the years of abuse and neglect have caused her body to rebel against everyday chemicals, eventually leading her to the safety of the porcelain trailer.
Lloyd rose from the ashes of her own fires – gives her story its undeniable flair – filled with a blizzard of bizarrely entertaining events and many, many dropped names. There's a convenient list of celebrities and the pages on which they are mentioned at the front of the book.
Blue Ink Review