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Book cover of Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love

Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love

by Debra Gwartney, Joyce Bean

Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
Compact Disc
ISBN: 9781400110681

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Synopsis of Live Through This: A Mother's Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love

With four young daughters and a miserably failed marriage, Debra Gwartney moves halfway across the country, to Eugene, Oregon, for a new job and what she hopes will be a new life for herself and her daughters. The two oldest, Amanda, 14, and Stephanie, 13, have a symbiotic relationship so intense they barely know where one begins and the other leaves off. They come to blame their mother for their family's dislocation, and one day the two run off together---to the streets of their own city, then San Francisco, then utterly gone.

Live Through This---as emotionally wrenching and ultimately redemptive as David Sheff's Beautiful Boy---is the story of Gwartney's frantic effort to recover the beautiful, intelligent daughters she cherishes. The harrowing subculture of the American runaway, with its random violence, its horrendously dangerous street drugs, and its patchwork of hidden shelters---none of them interested in a parent's grief---is captured by Gwartney with...

Publishers Weekly

After Gwartney and her husband-"two people who didn't belong in a marriage together but who couldn't manage to find a decent way to split up"-divorce, her two older daughters, barely in their teens, run away. In this bitingly honest memoir, Gwartney, a former correspondent for Newsweek, tells of her daughters' paths of self-destruction as street children, with intervening stints in various treatment centers (among them, a state group home, the foster child program, a "wilderness-therapy program"). As daughters Amanda and Stephanie move back and forth between their parents' homes of squabbles and angry rebellion and the street world of self-maiming-socially (dropping out of school), physically (drugs, scabies), emotionally (attempted suicide)-Gwartney builds a life around trying to bring them home again, into which her younger daughters, Mollie and Mary, are inexorably drawn. After a grim and frustrating two years, she is successful. Gwartney's memoir, however, is not just about the runaways; rather it's a reflection of her emotional state as months go by not knowing where one or the other daughter is. Her story was originally told in an episode of public radio's This American Life. While she occasionally overwrites, she offers readers comfort and some hope. (Feb.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author, Debra Gwartney

DEBRA GWARTNEY is a former Oregonian newspaper reporter, and worked as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine for ten years. She is on the nonfiction writing faculty at Portland State University. Her 2002 appearance with daughters Stephanie and Amanda on This American Life garnered intense listener response. The mother of four daughters and married to the writer Barry Lopez, Gwartney lives in Eugene, Oregon.

Bean has had careers as a television news producer, writer, actor, and voice talent. She has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Michigan State University.

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