A painful but beautifully conveyed tale of addiction and a mother’s commitment to a floundering child.



A writer recounts the anguishing trial of her daughter’s heroin abuse. 

Debut author Alpert took Crystal in when she was 16 years old—she was given up at birth, and was struggling to get along with her adoptive parents. She was a troubled teenager, but prospered in a new environment—she finished high school at the top of her class and graduated from college. But she began using heroin—a fact revealed to the author by Crystal’s boyfriend, Jim—a practice that quickly snowballed into an ungovernable addiction. Alpert and Jim were able to coax Crystal into a detox program and then rehab. She seemed to be on the path to recovery and was infused with a sense of purpose from motherhood—she gave birth to a daughter, Sage. But Crystal’s newfound stability proved fleeting, and she spiraled again into self-destructive addiction and finally homelessness. Alpert movingly chronicles her fraught relationship with Crystal, including the author’s repeated attempts to get her clean and, in the process, to protect Sage. Alpert candidly discusses the hard decisions she had to make as a mother—at one point, she sent, as a temporary measure in advance of another shot at detox, money to Jim to purchase small amounts of heroin for Crystal. Later, she would deny Crystal bail money when she was arrested, hoping her incarceration was an opportunity to start anew. After not seeing her daughter for years, the author then discovered she was on CNN, the subject of a story profiling heroin addicts—Crystal was both homeless and pregnant. Alpert’s account is filled with candidly conveyed heartache, an especially poignant tale because, despite her challenges, she never regretted the decision to introduce Crystal into her life. The author stirringly details her own struggle to come to grips with a persistent feeling of helplessness: “Believing I had control of any kind was giving myself way too much credit. It was always Crystal’s decision. I had not put the needle in her arm, and I would not be the one to take it out.”

A painful but beautifully conveyed tale of addiction and a mother’s commitment to a floundering child.

Pub Date: April 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-948181-32-7

Page Count: 214

Publisher: Hybrid Global Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 9, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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