Mayhem: A Memoir
This is a book about great wealth, drug addiction, death, and family guilt. Hans K. Rausing came from a wealthy Swedish manufacturing family. The author, his sister, has childhood memories that include staying at a beach house where they played childhood games and wandered freely. The brother had a magnificent inheritance, allowing him to travel the world, where he was introduced to heroin. He subsequently met his wife, Eva, in rehab. She was further into remission from this dreaded addiction and was able to inspire others with her leadership and understanding. Although the first rule of rehab is not to fall in love there (think Elizabeth Taylor and Fortensky), they married and had children. Their addiction resurfaced, their children were taken away by the memoir’s author, his sister, resulting in a divided and distrustful family and the ultimate death of Eva.
This must have been a painful book to write for Sigrid Rausing. Dealing with that death causes her to think deeply about what she could have done differently. This is where the story goes a little off course as Freud and discredited treatments are discussed. She opines that those caught in the web in this manner must be mostly innocent. This reader fails to follow those arguments.