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

Extended Audio Sample Live Through This: A Mothers Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love Audiobook, by Debra Gwartney Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.52 out of 53.52 out of 53.52 out of 53.52 out of 53.52 out of 5 3.52 (25 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Debra Gwartney Narrator: Joyce Bean Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9781400180684
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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 brilliant intensity. Faced with the unraveling of the family she thought she could hold together through blind love, Gwartney begins the painful-and universal-journey toward recognizing her own flawed motivations as a mother. The triumph of Gwartney's story is its sensitive rendering of how all three, over several years, have dug deep for forgiveness and a return to profound love. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Truly absorbing. Library Journal Starred Review

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelli | 2/10/2014

    " This mother shares her thoughts, struggles and agony as 2 of her daughters run away and live on the streets. I could relate to her guilt and struggles as a mother. She learns to let go (sort of) and gets to a place of healing with her daughters. And there's a homebirth at the end! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Glenda | 2/4/2014

    " This book was such an emotional journey and I felt so bad for the mother. Not knowing where your children are, if they are dead or alive, has got to be one of the worst things in the world. I don't think anything was the mother's fault and sometimes kids are going to do what they are going to do regardless of how good of parenting they have. There are so many kids addicted to drugs and in the same situation that come from great homes and have good parents. I believe that there are alot of factors that come into play such as friends they meet, anxiety issues, mental health, individual personalities (some have addicted ones), peer pressure, etc.. that I wish she wouldn't blame herself but as parents I know it's natural that we do. We question ourselves and wonder what if? Should I have done more? Less? You can drive yourself crazy thinking that way. It was such an honest and heartfelt book and one that made me quite emotional. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kara | 1/29/2014

    " Largely unsatisfying tale of 2 alarmingly unsympathetic runaway teenagers told from a mother's bewildered perspective. You are left with zero insight on, understanding of or sympathy for either of the daughter's plights. I listened to a follow up interview with all 3 Gwarney women on a podcast and was sickened by the now adult daughters aloof, snide, unapologetic manner. Stephanie even laughed and said she had had a good time on the streets and doesn't regret it, despite the pain it caused her mother and younger sisters. If I HATED the runaway daughters, the book failed miserably. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Felicia Blasi | 1/26/2014

    " My past situation and behavior are so similar to Gwartney's I could barely read the book. It is well-written, introspective, and true. I highly recommend this title to ANY children of divorce [my dear daughters, I am so sorry!:], or PARENTS divorcing now or in the past. A riveting, harrowing read for me given the above. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thorn MotherIssues | 1/21/2014

    " Counting this memoir by a mother about her response to her daughters' time as teen runaways because she placed one of them in foster care and both of the girls went through various rehab/group home/psych placements that overlap with experiences of teens in the foster system. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pascale Plänk Steig | 1/20/2014

    " A harrowing memoir written by a mother whose daughters aged 16 and 14 ran away from home on a whim. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alli | 1/18/2014

    " I learned a lot from this book. I had no idea that many of the people who live on the streets CHOOSE that life for themselves, often leaving loving families and comfortable homes. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 J E | 1/17/2014

    " The book never talked about the motives of the daughters in running away. I found the book shallow and cruel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Jones | 12/2/2013

    " Wow - this book got under my skin. I just wrote the author because I couldn't stop thinking about what she went through. Very emotionally raw stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carson | 11/28/2013

    " Out in February this is a well-written memoir of a mother's struggle to maintain contact with runaway daughters that don't want her love, and how she's learned to deal with it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meredith | 11/28/2013

    " I listened to DVD of this book. It was good, a very frightening story. I wish the story had more from the daughter's point of view. They should write their own memoir. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rsimon28 | 7/16/2013

    " Riveting -- I read this in one day. As the mother of two teenagers and someone who works with homeless kids I was interested in reading the parent's story. Now I'd like to read the girls' story. Listen to the "This American Life" segment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 6/28/2012

    " Less dramatic in some ways that I expected from the blurb, Gwartney showcases her pain, confusion, anger and fear in vivid detail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 6/22/2012

    " Was like passing an accident, I didn't want to look but I couldn't help myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bee-Man | 6/5/2012

    " habis baca buku ini aq tambah cinta sama Dia... Love you so much Mom... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen Gebelein | 5/9/2012

    " Harrowing...don't read if you have teenagers...you won't sleep! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 5/6/2012

    " A little hard to get into a first, but extremely well worth it. This may be one of the most heart-wrenching tales of motherhood I've ever read. I felt bad for judging the author, but I admire her honesty. Her prose is absolutely beautiful, even at times more captivating than the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/22/2012

    " If you think you have it bad, read this true story of perserverance and love. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lindsey | 2/6/2011

    " Less dramatic in some ways that I expected from the blurb, Gwartney showcases her pain, confusion, anger and fear in vivid detail. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise | 1/29/2011

    " Crazy true story about a mother whose 2 older daughters stop going to school, start taking drugs and run away from home to live on the streets at 13 and 15. She is pretty honest with herself in the writing. Some harsh language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 10/10/2010

    " Harrowing...don't read if you have teenagers...you won't sleep! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 9/25/2010

    " This is basically a shorter, shallower, inferior version of David Sheff's Beautiful Boy, but it was definitely a fast, entertaining read, satisfying in its own way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna | 8/26/2010

    " I am not usually a big fan of non fiction, but I really enjoyed this book. As a mother of 3 small daughters, this book opened my eyes to another mother's struggle with her own life and daughters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 J | 7/21/2010

    " The book never talked about the motives of the daughters in running away. I found the book shallow and cruel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caroline | 7/20/2010

    " Devastating story but I couldn't keep from editing it in my head (fixing typos, revising misplaced modifiers) as I read, which of course was fairly distracting. "

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About the Author
Author Debra Gwartney

Debra Gwartney, a former reporter for the Oregonian, worked as a correspondent for Newsweek magazine for ten years. She is currently 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.

About the Narrator

Joyce Bean is an accomplished audiobook narrator and director. In addition to having won eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, she has been nominated multiple times for the prestigious Audie Award. Equally adept at narrating fiction and nonfiction, and she also narrates audiobooks under the name Jane Brown.