Although it is a book about the past, much of it resonates with contemporary issues. In reading about the years of prohibition, it was easy to see why the "noble experiment" failed since it expanded criminal enterprise, increased alcoholism and caused far more deaths by alcohol poisoning than ever before. It's easy to draw parallels to the failure of our on-going War on Drugs.
The one passage I liked best came at the very end of her Author's Notes. It made me laugh out loud because it was a scene that could have taken place in my kitchen:
"There are mornings, lit by the cold winter light, when I start talking about a poison in my book, revealing my own dangerous expertise, and as I do, I watch my husband, quietly, not really thinking about it, slide his cup out of my reach."
It's a fabulous book.