A collection of personal accounts from young people whose family members have struggled with a variety of addictions.
Each chapter of this slim volume is a short, accessible personal narrative written from the point of view of someone who lived with addiction as a child. The stories are diverse, not only in the kinds of addictions represented (alcohol, gambling, various drugs), but also in the feelings and identities of the writers. The events and emotions in each chapter are straightforwardly told, with demarcated sections, such as “My mom, the middlewoman” and “How I coped.” Short contextualizing interpolations (“Many addicts try to blame others—most often family members—for their behavior”) are interspersed with the narratives in an easily distinguishable typeface. Peculiarly, the chapters are written in first person, but there are no biographies or other indications as to who the writers are outside the stories they tell. Aside from a brief foreword, an introductory personal account by children’s author Robert Munsch, and a few pages of questions and answers with a professor of social work, little attempt is made at tying together the collection.
The accounts are varied and honest enough that readers with addiction in their own families will likely find plenty to relate to, but a bit more context would have been helpful. (list of resources) (Nonfiction. 12-18)