Live Through This by Debra Gwartney was not a book I might normally pick up at a book store or listen to, but I was searching through the biography/memoir section of audible.com and came across it. I picked it up because of my recent fascination with memoirs and addictive personality type books.
Once I got into the book, I was pleasantly surprised. As Debra recounts the experience of packing up her four children, divorcing from their dad and heading west to Oregon – she realized that maybe all of these experiences lead to the idea of her two oldest children (Amanda & Stephanie) packing it in, jumping a train, heading to who know's where for experience that no teenagers should experience.
She was quick to point the finger at her ex-husband for all of his mistakes while taking a backseat view of her own lack of involvement or lack of parenting. Several times throughout the book she launches into more of a third-person viewpoint of an experience which indicated her separation from the experience. She acknowledges that, in some cases, she wasn't prepared for her daughters to return from whatever misadventure they were on, because she finally had moments of peace.
As a new romance was beginning, her life with her daughters was crumbling. The daughters who were in and out of some form of rehab or wilderness experience, were always planning some quick getaway. The daughters had an unhealthy codependent need for each other until one day, Amanda overdosed on heroine & Stephanie took off.
After an experience in a new type of charter school out of state, Stephanie who was allusive for so long had been near the top of her class and really thrived under the right environment. Once again, my heart hurt for this family – split apart by divorce, seemed to trigger the runaway behavior, was another example that every family is not perfect.
If you are a memoir reader and want to read an experience of runaway, redemption, and healing – you will enjoy this book.
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