BROKEN HEART WHOLE HEART: A Family and Addiction by Pecki & Virginia Newlin Sherman

BROKEN HEART WHOLE HEART: A Family and Addiction

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A first-person account of a teen-age boy addicted to drugs and the family's efforts to save him--and themselves. It's the same oft-repeated pattern that shows up in recent books about addiction in the middle class: family financially successful, couple seemingly happily married, suburban or country environment designed to nurture children, sibling, animals, good schools. What went wrong? Good question, but it is not answered here. The family's effort was bent on controlling the addiction, halting the degradation, protecting the young man, themselves, and the neighbors from theft and possible violence. The story is told by the mother, who inexplicably uses a pseudonym, although she has been lecturing and giving interviews under her real name. Half of this volume also recounts her quest to cure her own ills, ranging from acute allergies to spiritual rigor mortis. Her experiments with New Age medicine and meditation lead her ultimately to a dramatic out-of-body experience. Sherman is to be credited for shouldering her share of the blame in some graphically described encounters between her and her son, but resolving to put a rein on one's temper does not get to the heart of the problem. It says something about where the author's attention was directed that four of the six names in the book's dedication are dogs and cats. An ultimately shallow and unfulfilling account of a troubled family whose elder son packed the emotional baggage--and suffered from it.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Hampshire (1300 Weathervane Lane, Akron, OH 44313)