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Publisher's Summary

Kristina, the second of four children, begins by telling how a little sip of vodka sipped secretly at a party her parents were giving started her on a pathway to addiction. In that instant, alcohol became her pathway to comfort. Over the next eight years, she sank further into addiction, moving on to cocaine and methamphetamines. In telling her story, she gives a brutally honest description of her addiction and crimes.

Adding a heart-wrenching counterpart to each chapter of the book, Kristina's mother, Connie, gives a parent's account of what was happening throughout her child's experience. She describes her powerlessness to help her addicted daughter, the breakup of her unhappy marriage, and how she came to terms with her own codependency. She also describes the worst decision a mother ever has to make: to turn her oldest daughter out of her house, sending her onto the streets, in order to protect herself and her other children. Then follows the remarkable story of Kristina's recovery, her mother's tough love, and the years of acclimating herself to living a normal life. Ultimately she reclaimed herself, her place in her family, and a new and loving relationship with her mother.

©2006 Kristina Wandzilak and Constance Curry (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"This book is invaluable to families, and I am proud to recommend The Lost Years." (John Bradshaw, best-selling author of Healing the Shame That Binds You)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Story

needed depth

I feel like this book skimmed where it should have dived deep. I didn't get a connection to any of the characters, and it felt more like a long summary than a story. I wish it had elaborated more on what drug use is like, as well as relapsing and the struggle within.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 08-16-17

well-written, accessible, with odd Narrator Choice

I read this book quickly. Reading the alternating chapters between mother and daughter - the pain, the recovery, the clawing back and letting go. it was written in an engaging and accessible style and what it taught me about addiction and recovery will not soon leave me.
I will say that the choice of Hillary Huber as a narrator for the daughter was a rather strange one. Her voice does not sound particularly young, and while she did an admirable job, it just struck me that she sounded older than the person she was meant to portray.

Well worth your time and credit, whether or not anyone in your life struggles with addiction.

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too slow

the narrators were too slow. the author should of read her own story other than that the story was good

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Beautiful!

What an extraordinary description of a child's progression of addiction. I found myself thinking about this book all throughout the day. I have a 6 year old and 3 year old and I kept wondering how I would handle the situation if it was me in their future. It terrifies me. I felt for the Mom's heartbreak and I felt for the daughter at the same time. It was honest. It was genuine. It was beautifully written.

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Just ok.

I almost gave up on this book but decided to stick it out. I really disliked the mother, she seemed overly dramatic. Hillary Huber is a great narrator, the other one not so much. I found the story thin, only mildly interesting.