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SKINFUL: A Memoir of Addiction, Who hasn’t sometimes wanted to change their life and start over?

Front Cover of Book Skinful: A Memoir of Addiction, Robyn Flemming

Front Cover Skinful: A Memoir of Addiction, Robyn Flemming

Robyn chose to live an alcohol-free life after failing for four decades to drink normally. But Robyn isn’t and has never been a normal person.

CORK, IRELAND, December 3, 2021 / -- SKINFUL is a brave, thoughtful, and provocative memoir about turning one’s life around and making a new path to a different future. Robyn Flemming chose to live an alcohol-free life after failing for four decades to drink ‘normally.’ But Robyn isn’t – and has never been – a ‘normal person.

When Robyn Flemming left Australia to wander the world as a nomadic freelance editor, she was single and nearing sixty. It was not the first time she had shed an old skin for a new one in the hope of changing who she was on the inside. Was her decision to risk everything yet again an act of faith or of folly? Was she running from the truth about her dependence on alcohol, or running towards a solution? In this captivating recovery and travel memoir, Robyn finds the courage to change not only her surroundings but herself. Finally, she can be at home in her own skin as well as in the world. SKINFUL: A Memoir of Addiction is about the questions we ask at life’s turning points: Who am I? What life do I want to live?

This heart-warming, sometimes heart-wrenching, memoir sends a strong message of hope: it is never too late to make a new path to a different future. SKINFUL: A Memoir of Addiction is structured around four major turning points:

In Part One, the author turns a short business trip from Australia into a new life in Hong Kong. But seven years later, a long habit of social drinking has become a dependency that is affecting her physical, mental, and emotional health. Fearing that she is on the verge of a breakdown, she returns to Australia to try to make a new start.

In Part Two, Robyn recounts her struggle to manage her reliance on alcohol. She sets extreme physical challenges for herself to gain control of her addiction. But the gap between the person she presents to the world and the one she keeps hidden from view is growing. One night, a casual comment from a stranger brings her to another turning point. ‘I could stay where I was, huddled in my upstairs bedroom every night, numbing my feelings with white wine, and trying to straddle the growing gap between my inner and outer selves. Or I could embark on an open-ended adventure, a hero’s journey, and perhaps become the woman I had the potential to be.’

In 2010, now in her late fifties, Robyn leaves behind her life in Australia and becomes a global nomad. In late August of the following year, during a hurricane in New York City, she finally finds the courage to change herself and not just her situation. The story concludes four years after Robyn’s last drink. A casual comment from another stranger traces the journey she has taken – from darkness to light, from anxiety and shame to happiness and peace, from self-censure to self-acceptance, from isolation to connection.

Now ten years sober, Robyn believes that we must take responsibility for our own lives, make our own path to the kind of life we want to live, and offer community and support to others wanting to do the same.

Published by Lantern Publishing SKINFUL: A Memoir of Addiction will be available on 11 January 2022. ISBN 9781914962028 RRP €13.99 £11.99.

Notes to Editor

Press queries (IRL & UK) please contact Deirdre Roberts, 00 353 87 2633011,

Talking points:

Grey Area Drinking: A grey area drinker is someone on the spectrum between drinking socially and severely abusing alcohol.
● Addiction: SKINFUL touches on how childhood experiences can lead to addiction to a range of substances and behaviours in later life to fill a void or to numb emotional pain.
● Armchair Travel: SKINFUL provides an armchair experience of travelling freely around the world in a way that is no longer possible. Robyn’s intrepid adventures will have you on the edge of your seat, wondering what challenges she will face and who she will befriend next.
● Adventure Travel: Robyn ran five marathons and forty-eight half marathons, and completed long-distance treks, in more than a dozen countries. She had emergency surgeries under a general anaesthetic in two developing countries.
● Reinvention: As a senior who packed up and made a new life for ten years as an ‘editor without borders,’ Robyn shows that age is no barrier to reimagining your life.
● Life’s Big Questions: SKINFUL is about the questions we ask at life’s turning points: Who am I? What life do I want to live?

About the Author

Robyn Flemming is an Australian author and freelance editor. She lived in Hong Kong from 1986 until 1993. In 2010, she left Australia again to travel as a global nomad. In March 2020, when COVID-19 closed many countries’ borders, she relocated to regional Australia from her European base in Budapest, Hungary. She has been sober for ten years.

Praise for SKINFUL

‘A captivating true story of self-discovery.’ Peggi Cooney, author of This Side of Alcohol

rave and unflinching. An engrossing journey to hard-won redemption.’ Susan Johnson, author of From Where I Fell

‘Robyn Flemming describes her one precious, imperfect life in a manner familiar to readers of Educated (Tara Westover), The Liars’ Club (Mary Karr), Wild (Cheryl Strayed), and even Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert).’ Laura Kennelly

Deirdre Roberts
Deirdre Roberts
+353 87 263 3011
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Book Trailer, SKINFUL: A Memoir of Addiction