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Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love

by

Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An intensely emotional and redemptive memoir about a mother's mission to rescue her runaway daughters.

After a miserably failed marriage, Debra Gwartney moves with her four young daughters to Eugene, Oregon, for a new job and what she hopes will be a new life for herself and her family. The two oldest, Amanda, 14, and Stephanie, 13, blame their mother for what happened, and one day the two run off together — to the streets of their own city, then San Francisco, then nowhere to be found. The harrowing subculture of the American runaway, with its random violence, its horrendously dangerous street drugs, and its patchwork of hidden shelters is captured by Gwartney with brilliant intensity in Live Through This as she sets out to find her girls. Though she thought she could hold her family together by love alone, Gwartney recognizes over the course of her search where she failed. It's a testament to her strength — and to the resilience of her daughters — that after several years they are a family again, forged by both forgiveness and love.

Review:

"Profoundly moving memoir of the authors agony and perseverance as she lost her two teenage daughters to the streets, and of the slow, painful reconciliation they eventually found....An achingly beautiful chronicle of unfathomable sorrow, flickering hope and quiet redemption." Kirkus, starred review

Review:

"Gwartney deserves high praise for her clear and lacerating prose, her refusal to assign blame or make excuses, and the stunning candor with which she offers telling glimpses into her own, and her daughters' father's, youthful recklessness and parental flounderings. Everyone concerned about self-destructive teens, and every survivor of her or his own wild times, will find Gwartney's searing chronicle of her resilient family's runaway years deeply affecting." Booklist

Review:

"Debra Gwartney's Live Through This is an extraordinary, heart-driven account of daughters lost and found, of other daughters kept close along the way, and of an underworld that's with us everywhere, but which so few of us see." Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company

Review:

"As I read Debra Gwartney's harrowing memoir, I had to keep reminding myself that this was not fiction. Gwartney's honesty about her mothering and the rawness with which she tells her story are both admirable and heartbreaking. Live Through This is utterly true, and that, combined with Gwartney's frank storytelling, make this book unforgettable." Ann Hood, author of The Knitting Circle and Somewhere Off the Coast of Maine

Review:

"For all the raw power of this true story and the fearless honesty of the voice telling it, what sticks out for me is the literary craft that shapes every sentence. Debra Gwartney has seen clear to the bottom of her experience, purged it of self-righteousness, and emerged with a stunningly humane and humbled awareness of life's troubles" Phillip Lopate, author of Totally, Tenderly, Tragically and Portrait of My Body

Review:

"Gutsy, edgy, and revelatory, Gwartney's fast-paced tale of a family in pieces builds to a magnificent, hard-won communion. Her ability to follow the wildness in her own story uncovers truths about every parent, every child." China Galland, author of Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves and Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna

Review:

"What makes Debra Gwartney's Live Through This special is its literary precision, its truly startling honesty, and, most of all, its ability to sift through pain and ashes and find — not bitterness — but humor and, always, love. I hope every parent in America reads this wonderful book" Tom Bissell, author of The Father of All Things

Synopsis:

With four young daughters and a miserably failed marriage, Debra Gwartney moves halfway across the country, to Eugene,Oregon, for a new job and what she hopes will be a new life for herself and her daughters. The two oldest, Amanda, 14, and Stephanie, 13, have a symbiotic relationship so intense they barely know where one begins and the other leaves off. They come to blame their mother for their family's dislocation, and one day the two run off together — to the streets of their own city, then San Francisco, then utterly gone.

Live Through This — as emotionally wrenching and ultimately redemptive as David Sheff's Beautiful Boy — is the story of Gwartney's frantic effort to recover the beautiful, intelligent daughters she cherishes. The harrowing subculture of the American runaway, with its random violence, its horrendously dangerous street drugs, and its patchwork of hidden shelters — none of them interested in a parents grief — is captured by Gwartney with brilliant intensity.

Faced with the unraveling of the family she thought she could hold together through blind love, Gwartney begins the painful — and universal — journey of recognizing her own flawed motivations as a mother. The triumph of Gwartney's story is its sensitive rendering of how all three, over several years, have dug deep for forgiveness and a return to profound love.

About the Author

Debra Gwartney is a former Oregonian newspaper reporter and worked as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine for ten years. She teaches writing at Portland State University. Gwartney is the mother of four daughters and is married to writer Barry Lopez.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

GINA BETCHER, June 11, 2012 (view all comments by GINA BETCHER)
Before reading, I am curious about the happy ending and also I have ordered it wondering if this is a book I can pass along to my mother. Not every story ends this way and I fear that unless it does the story cannot be written.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Sabena Stark, May 31, 2012 (view all comments by Sabena Stark)
With powerful storytelling and unrelenting honesty, Gwartney tells the story of her battle to bring her runaway daughters home and out of harm's way. She doesn't make herself the hero of her narrative but has written a compelling book that stayed with me long after the ending.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547248011
Author:
Gwartney, Debra
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Family Relationships
Subject:
Parental Memoirs
Subject:
Biography-Women
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20100231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.49 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Women
Children's » Sale Books
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » General
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Mothering
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Parenting Teens
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Mariner Books - English 9780547248011 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Profoundly moving memoir of the authors agony and perseverance as she lost her two teenage daughters to the streets, and of the slow, painful reconciliation they eventually found....An achingly beautiful chronicle of unfathomable sorrow, flickering hope and quiet redemption."
"Review" by , "Gwartney deserves high praise for her clear and lacerating prose, her refusal to assign blame or make excuses, and the stunning candor with which she offers telling glimpses into her own, and her daughters' father's, youthful recklessness and parental flounderings. Everyone concerned about self-destructive teens, and every survivor of her or his own wild times, will find Gwartney's searing chronicle of her resilient family's runaway years deeply affecting."
"Review" by , "Debra Gwartney's Live Through This is an extraordinary, heart-driven account of daughters lost and found, of other daughters kept close along the way, and of an underworld that's with us everywhere, but which so few of us see."
"Review" by , "As I read Debra Gwartney's harrowing memoir, I had to keep reminding myself that this was not fiction. Gwartney's honesty about her mothering and the rawness with which she tells her story are both admirable and heartbreaking. Live Through This is utterly true, and that, combined with Gwartney's frank storytelling, make this book unforgettable."
"Review" by , "For all the raw power of this true story and the fearless honesty of the voice telling it, what sticks out for me is the literary craft that shapes every sentence. Debra Gwartney has seen clear to the bottom of her experience, purged it of self-righteousness, and emerged with a stunningly humane and humbled awareness of life's troubles"
"Review" by , "Gutsy, edgy, and revelatory, Gwartney's fast-paced tale of a family in pieces builds to a magnificent, hard-won communion. Her ability to follow the wildness in her own story uncovers truths about every parent, every child." China Galland, author of Love Cemetery: Unburying the Secret History of Slaves and Longing for Darkness: Tara and the Black Madonna
"Review" by , "What makes Debra Gwartney's Live Through This special is its literary precision, its truly startling honesty, and, most of all, its ability to sift through pain and ashes and find — not bitterness — but humor and, always, love. I hope every parent in America reads this wonderful book"
"Synopsis" by , With four young daughters and a miserably failed marriage, Debra Gwartney moves halfway across the country, to Eugene,Oregon, for a new job and what she hopes will be a new life for herself and her daughters. The two oldest, Amanda, 14, and Stephanie, 13, have a symbiotic relationship so intense they barely know where one begins and the other leaves off. They come to blame their mother for their family's dislocation, and one day the two run off together — to the streets of their own city, then San Francisco, then utterly gone.

Live Through This — as emotionally wrenching and ultimately redemptive as David Sheff's Beautiful Boy — is the story of Gwartney's frantic effort to recover the beautiful, intelligent daughters she cherishes. The harrowing subculture of the American runaway, with its random violence, its horrendously dangerous street drugs, and its patchwork of hidden shelters — none of them interested in a parents grief — is captured by Gwartney with brilliant intensity.

Faced with the unraveling of the family she thought she could hold together through blind love, Gwartney begins the painful — and universal — journey of recognizing her own flawed motivations as a mother. The triumph of Gwartney's story is its sensitive rendering of how all three, over several years, have dug deep for forgiveness and a return to profound love.

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