"Ours was not only a love story, it was also a drink story", writes Caitlin Thomas. "The bar was our altar and the only significant difference between our drink story and any of the others is that in the middle of it was a genius poet". Caitlin Thomas' s stormy marriage to Dylan has been covered by the biographers often enough, but it is only now, following her death in 1994, that her own account of those turbulent years is published.
Caitlin MacNamara was born into a far more chaotic and bohemian family than Dylan's suburban clan. For instance her family were friends with the painters Augustus and Gwen John; and Augustus raped her when she sat for him once. In fact the path of her alcoholism had been set long before she met Dylan, but when they came together neither of them stood a chance against the drink.
Caitlin's sparky and invigorating prose is well suited to depicting both their passionate love-hate relationship and her battle with drink following Dylan's death. This is in many ways a tragic story of suffering and torment but it ends--after a new life in Italy with her husband and son and 20 years of sobriety before her death--with a welcome sense of final contentment and peace