Intimate memoir recalls journey with abuse, addiction, and disordered eating

An inspiring story perfect for fans of “Drinking: A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp

BOSTON, MA – In a raw and poignant coming-of-age memoir, “Make a Home Out of You” (She Writes Press, September 3, 2024), Ginelle Testa spends her adolescence searching for a home in one destructive place after another. Grappling with addiction after addiction – to sex, love, weight loss, drugs, and alcohol – she must find a way to claw herself up from rock bottom in order to find a joyful home within herself. 

Born to an abusive mother and a drug-dealer father, Ginelle Testa is not exactly set up for success. By the end of her thirteenth year, she’s started experimenting with alcohol and drugs, has fallen prey to anorexia, and has been sexually assaulted. And that’s only the beginning of her spiral down into addiction and disordered eating.

As Ginelle progresses into young adulthood, she plunges deeper into substance-related lows. In her senior year of college, after blacking out and ending up naked in her dorm’s community shower, she goes to Alcoholics Anonymous and gets sober. But steering clear of drugs and alcohol, she discovers, is not a cure-all—she still has a long way to go before she can truly heal.

Powerful and relatable, “Make a Home out of You”, is a riveting tale of making the slow, confusing, and surprisingly funny slog back from the brink—and learning to make a home in oneself instead of in substances and other people.

“A raw and honest portrait of unhealed trauma and its ripple effect on a young life. With an intense yearning for things, people, and vices, the author earned a heap of battle scars on the journey to self love and acceptance. This story reminds us that love starts at home, and that home resides within.”

–Suzanne Simonetti, USA TODAY bestselling author

“Make a Home Out of You: A Memoir”

Ginelle Testa | September 3, 2024 | She Writes Press | Memoir

Paperback| 9781647427443 | $17.95

GINELLE TESTA (she/they) is a writer originally from Hudson, NH. She has an MS in digital marketing and design from Brandeis University and a BA in sociology from Rivier University, and has been featured in Insider, Byrdie, Tiny Buddha, and other places. She’s a queer person in recovery. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys doing restorative yoga, playing video games, and thrifting eclectic clothes. Ginelle lives in Boston, MA. Find out more about them at their website.

Follow Ginelle Testa on social media:

Instagram: @ginelletesta

TikTok: @ginelletesta 

Facebook: @GinelleTestaWriter

In an interview, Ginelle Testa can discuss:

  • Ginelle’s experiences in both Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
  • How Ginelle’s experience with AA and SLAA has changed since writing their memoir
  • How pursuing sobriety empowered Ginelle to boldly embrace her authentic, queer identity and become an advocate for body positivity 
  • How Ginelle’s profound drive to share their story stems from a deep-seated conviction to inspire and uplift others
  • The process of writing this memoir and how it healed trauma from her childhood

Advance Praise for “Make a Home Out of You: A Memoir”

“Raw and uncompromisingly honest, Ginelle Testa’s memoir takes readers on a whirlwind journey through her teens and early twenties in her search for love and self-acceptance. Set in rural New Hampshire and Boston, Make a Home Out of You is Ginelle’s story of addiction, recovery, and the search for her soul. Like me, you’ll cry at her failures and rejoice in her triumphs. I guarantee you won’t be able to put down this beautifully crafted memoir.”

–Susen Edwards, author of What a Trip: A Novel

“Testa’s intimate memoir is a harrowing and ultimately triumphant tale of her decades-long odyssey of self-destructive addiction… With superhuman courage and conviction, Testa transcends a life of setbacks and despair to emerge as a powerful, purposeful woman. So many will be inspired by her brave story.”      

Shary Hauer, author of Insatiable: A Memoir of Love Addiction

“Make a Home Out of You shines with honesty and introspection. Reading it feels like taking in the intimate diary of a friend as she grapples with body-shame, sexuality, and longings to feel safe and loved. At times heartbreaking, Testa’s memoir is more a story about perseverance, resiliency, and transforming trauma’s aftermath into something meaningful and brimming with hope.”

–August McLaughlin, Girl Boner podcast host and author

An Interview with

Ginelle Testa

1. Thank you for sharing this inspiring and vulnerable memoir! Why did you feel compelled to write this memoir? Has writing helped your healing journey? 

Writing this memoir healed me in a way I never could have predicted. I have found forgiveness for the broken parts of me that I have slowly put back together over the years, for the mistakes I made, and the person I was. I felt the need to share because many of us suffer in silence, and I’d like people to feel less alone. 

2. How did you stay sober during recovery? And do you have any advice you’d like to share with others who are experiencing similar struggles? 

At first, AA was immensely helpful. Now, support structures like therapy and meds, communities like writing groups and a cornhole league, and strong friends, are what keep me afloat. I recommend finding a community of some sort of sober people, hang in there, and talk about your struggles and triumphs. 

3. After writing this memoir and having reflected on your experiences, how has your relationship with 12 step programs (like Alcoholics Anonymous and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous) changed? 

I needed these programs for almost a decade; they provided structure, healing, and support. Now, without them, I lean much more heavily on my intuition and my own experiences to inform the decisions I make and the way that I live. I still have a lot of love for SLAA & AA, but no longer feel I need them. 

4. How has your identity as a queer, non-binary person impacted your path towards self-acceptance and recovery? 

Being in recovery has helped me to embrace myself more fully. I was self-conscious of my queerness, and felt like I wasn’t queer enough in the early days. Now, I still have those moments but I have much greater acceptance and compassion that I’m allowed to be who I am, which is bisexual and a little genderqueer. 

5. What do you hope that folks reading the book take away from learning about your experiences? 

I hope they feel a sense of enoughness. Many of us spend time seeking comfort and validation in other people and in substances or behaviors, but my journey encourages people to seek enoughness inside themselves, and to build a home there. 

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