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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 Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love, by Debra Gwartney, Joyce Bean Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (480 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Debra Gwartney, Joyce Bean Narrator: Joyce Bean Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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, 15, 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. 

Faced with the unraveling of the family she thought she could hold together through blind love, Gwartney begins the painful—and universal—journey of recognizing her own flawed motivations as a mother. Live Through This chronicles Gwartney’s frantic efforts to recover the beautiful, intelligent daughters she cherishes. The triumph of her story is its sensitive rendering of how all three women have dug deep for forgiveness and a return to profound love.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by 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 by 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 by 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 by 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. "

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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.