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

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

A MEMOIR OF RECOVERY

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

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

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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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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