Book review: Two Sisters memoir a stark, raw and melancholic account of a complicated family life

Poet and novelist Blake Morrison had one sister who died after 30 years of alcoholism and another from suicide, here he attempts to excavate the self-destructive forces that led to the deaths of Gill and Josie

Blake Morrison: the anger he felt at how his sister Gill’s drinking affected their parents is tempered now with a sense that he should have done more to help her. Picture: Getty

In a 1995 diary entry, the poet and novelist Blake Morrison described how alcohol addiction was destroying the life of his sister Gill. She had recently been arrested by the police in a “state of undress” while trying to open wine boxes behind a supermarket.

Gill’s intermittent three-day benders were turning into regular three-week binges. Neglectful of her children when drunk, she hid the evidence in the garden, the hot press and the family bedrooms. ...