A mother traces her daughter's years-long battle with addiction in this compelling memoir that opens a raw and honest dialogue about substance abuse.
A mother’s first, most basic instinct is to protect her child. Christine Naman’s daughter Natalie was the light of her life. She was a spirited child with sparkling eyes who was growing up and finding her way in the world. But by adolescence, she had ended up on the wrong road, meeting the wrong kind of people. Natalie was a full-blown addict, caught in a self-destructive spiral that was destroying her life and taking her family along for the nightmarish journey. Christine wondered how she could have missed the warning signs. Was there anything she could do to save Natalie from herself?
About Natalie tells one woman’s heartbreaking story, one that is played out in homes across the country, and reveals the rollercoaster of emotions that loving an addict unearths. There is despair and joy; denial and acceptance; rage and tranquility. Christine’s reflections as she traces her daughter’s life are interspersed with Natalie’s compelling poems that tell the unvarnished truth of her side of this struggle: “I have handcuffs on/And no one can see them/My screams are so loud /Yet no one can hear ‘em”.
By sharing the difficult days of isolation, pain, and humiliation that being the parent of an addict can bring, Naman offers comfort and consolation to others in similar circumstances. Ultimately, About Natalie is a story of loving no matter what, keeping the faith, battling hard, and getting back on the right road.
Christine Pisera Naman is the author Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11, Faces of Hope: Ten Years Later, Faces of Hope at Eighteen, CaterpillarKisses, Christmas Lights, The Novena, and The Believers. She lives with her husband Peter and her children Jason, Natalie, and Trevor in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.
Publisher: Health Communications Inc EB (May 4, 2021)
Length: 368 pages
“Bold, brave, courageous, and captivating, About Natalie is Christine Naman’s masterfully written memoir of what it is like to wake up one day to find out your beautiful, beloved 15-year-old little girl is a heroin addict.
This raw, often humorous, and sometimes self-deprecating personal account will take you through the twists and turns, the tragedies and triumphs, that millions of families experience each day behind closed doors while dealing with the 21st century addiction epidemic.
Naman’s book takes the reader into the mind, heart, and soul of how to love unconditionally when faced with addiction, a cunning and baffling disease based on denial. She shows how her family experienced ups and downs in this uncharted territory, remained loving while living with an addict, and never gave up hope.
Christine Naman’s co-author and daughter, Natalie Naman, makes her publishing debut with poignant, profound poetry that illuminates her personal addiction experience.
About Natalie is groundbreaking. It doesn’t preach or pretend to offer a panacea. Instead, it offers a refreshing, authentic look at one family’s struggle with addiction, easily the most powerful book published on the subject in the 21st century.
About Natalie is required reading for this reviewer. Two thumbs up and 10 stars.”
—Dr. Maryel McKinley PhD , CADCII, syndicated reviewer, addictions expert, former co-host/co-producer “All Talk Recovery Radio” CBS 97.1FM KLSX Los Angeles Arbitron rated #1 in Southern California
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