An often poignant recollection that details the demon of addictive behavior.

A Mother's Story: Angie Doesn't Live Here Anymore


A retired English teacher’s debut memoir of addiction and codependence.

Romero writes that she was the daughter of an alcoholic and was raised in a dysfunctional household. She struggled with food addiction as a child and young adult, a problem that she says her perfectionist mother treated with amphetamines, resulting in a prescription-drug addiction. The author eventually achieved control over these difficulties as an adult, except in times of extreme stress; later, though, she realized that her own daughter had started using drugs. Following a divorce and years of hectic single parenthood, she attributed her daughter’s nonconformity to her artistic nature and readjustment problems related to her parents’ divorce. But after years of supporting her daughter through rehab, relapse, unwanted pregnancies, and abuse-related health problems, Romero recognized that she was enabling her daughter while neglecting her other two children. She further understood that her own feelings of guilt contributed to her codependence, and so she sought to distance herself. The “Recovery” in the subtitle refers to Romero’s own, and she proves a point by showing that her own recovery is as complete as it will ever be—essentially because she forced her daughter to be accountable for herself. After engaging with her daughter’s story, readers will naturally be curious about whether she stayed sober, as well. Romero’s generally well-written, sympathetic story will be relatable to those who have dealt with addiction, and those with less personal experience may gain a greater understanding of it. Romero’s and her daughter’s stories are truly heart-wrenching, as the former watches her talented, creative offspring descend into a world of prostitution and addiction. The narrative is occasionally repetitive, as in the continual references to Romero’s father’s alcoholism. The author also sometimes mentions past events but doesn’t explain them in detail (“Her face was still healing from the burns she had gotten freebasing crack cocaine back in October”). Where she really excels is in detailing her own feelings of culpability: “My guilt gave her illness power over me. It kept me enabling her, pandering to her needs, protecting her from the consequences of her choices.”

An often poignant recollection that details the demon of addictive behavior.

Pub Date: July 18, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-940769-14-1

Page Count: 362

Publisher: Mercury HeartLink

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2016

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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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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