Brickhouse, Jamie. “Dangerous When Wet”, St. Martin’s Press, 2015.
Meet Mama Jean
Mama Jean is a woman who loves to have fun and she is loud and loving. She is also author Jamie Brickhouse’s mother and “Dangerous When Wet” is his memoir about her. Mama Jean taught Jamie about fun and how to enjoy a champagne cocktail and how to buy at auction “a six-and-a-half-foot long, chestnut brown, ranch mink scarf,’ which had once belonged to Joan Crawford.” If you want to learn how to live, this is a place to start and you will enjoy every minute. Jamie and his mother take us on “a dark journey studded with gems of hilarity.”
Mama Jean taught Jamie to live by two basic principles that are mantras in the form of questions—“Sure, why not?” and “Is that all there is?” Jamie tells us that he was “a blackout drinker and a ‘serial fornicator” but his story is a not just about being drunk and having lots of sex but about he was able to exchange his behavior from self-destruction and self-loathing to becoming wise and learning to love himself. “
He has lived through dark periods but managed to comer out from them as a happy and sane person. His story is sensitive and thoughtful and is filled with as much happiness as heartbreak…but the happiness wins out.
We read of “lurid” sex and drunken revelries, secrets, secrets and more secrets that are fascinating to read about and somehow this memoir becomes sweeter than it is outrageous. He does not hold back and candidly shares his life with us as we are with him from the 1990s through the beginning of the 21st century. There are times we want to yell at Jamie to get a grip and tell him that he has to realize what he is doing to himself and then when he hits bottom and attempts to take his own life, you feel as it you had told him so. But then when he struggles with pulling himself back up, we root for him all the way.
Mama Jean is the anchor of the memoir and she, like the rest of the book, is totally unforgettable.