Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter's Worst Nightmare” as Want to Read:
The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter's Worst Nightmare
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter's Worst Nightmare

4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  506 ratings  ·  64 reviews
A child caught in the horror of alcohol and drug addition. A mother helplessly standing by unable to save her. The Lost Years is the real life story of just such a mother and child, each giving their first-hand accounts of the years lost to addiction and despair.
Kristina Wandzilak, the second of four children, tells how she turns to alcohol for comfort when she is thirtee
Kindle Edition
Published (first published September 1st 2006)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Lost Years, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Lost Years

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 931)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details

I couldn't even see the last page, my eyes were flooded with tears. It's absolutely shocking, powerful, and uplifting. And made me want to call my mother and tell her how much I love her.
Eva Leger
Jun 10, 2010 Eva Leger rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who has a past/present connected with drugs/alcohol - any memoir fan
Wow - I don't know what to say. My life paralelled Kristina's in so many ways. I admire her and her Mothers bravery. It had to be so hard to come out with all of these truths.
I don't think Kristina expanded on everything - I truly believe there were some parts left out and normally this would bother me. It didn't here, maybe because she was so truthful.
The writing here is so simple yet so beautiful - the emotion comes shining through which makes the simple wording so much more meaningful.
My y
One of the most amazing books of this type that I've read because of its brutal honesty. A mother and daughter tell the story, in alternating chapters, of the daughter's descent into alcoholism and drug addiction as a teenager and her subsequent estrangement from her family. She escaped from rehab numerous times, she traded sex for drugs and she ultimately became homeless before overcoming her addictions when she was well into her twenties. The daughter, Kristin, holds nothing back in sharing th ...more
Couldn't put this book down! Very scary how instantly her addiction started controlling her life. Kristina's story starts out like most curious and rebellious teens. Unfortunately, she inherited an extremely aggressive alcoholic trait that manifested her mistakes and nearly killed her. She's come along way and has an amazing story to tell!
No holds barred account of a mother and daughter's experience with alcohol and drug addiction and how it affects the entire family. I like how honest each woman was and able to articulate exactly what was happening and what was thinking at all of the points over the difficult "lost years." I think many people give up hope completely when they reach the level of addiction that Kristina did and I think her story is a realistic and inspiring look at how hard but also how worth it it is to overcome ...more
Jeff Burklin
A must read for those parents whom have children suffering from addiction. Hats off to the mother for being so strong and her daughter for being so candid.
An excellent and compelling book about addiction from the perspective of a mother and a daughter. An AMAZING read!
It was through an addiction site that I first heard about The Lost Years. The site had posted a video of Kristina and her mom at a book store talking about their book and on impulse I borrowed it from the local library. There was something about the video.

Kristina spoke briefly about her story as her mother stood a few feet away but there seemed to be more distance between the two of them then those few feet as Kristina's voice broke. Kristina regained her composure quickly but her mother remai
This book showed up as a recommended "read" on my Kindle. I had just finished reading "Beautiful Boy". "The Lost years: surviving a mother and daughter's worst nightmare" was stunning in it's honesty and emotional intensity. This story highlights how some children's internal world can completely crumble when cognitive dissonance results from hypocritical and dishonest parenting. I must applaud Kristina's ability to forgive and ultimately develop a warm relationship with her poor excuse of a fath ...more
One of the most touching recovery memoirs I've read. There are lots of good ones out there & this may be one of the best. This mother-daughter pair will be speaking in Nashville, TN at the Cumberland Heights women's luncheon on April 1st. Looking forward to hearing them, especially since I've now read their book. Really tough story with not an ounce of self-pity and a load of hard work and honesty. I highly recommend this book for any person struggling with or touched by addiction.
The Lost Years: Surviving a Mother and Daughter’s Worst Nightmare, is a non-fiction book written in graphic detail about the wrath of addiction in an ordinary California family. The book is written in dual narrative form, switching back and forth from Kristina and Constance Grant (mother and daughter) and offering stark contrasting perspectives of the same events. The book was published 13 years after Kristina began walking the road of recovery and chronicles the years that addiction claimed.

We are taking our 13 year old to see this Mother/Daughter pair speak at a YPO event next weekend. Their memoir about drug and alcohol addiction is a page-turner. It's unsettling to say the least. Read it. It will take you an afternoon to finish the book, but their story will stay with you for much longer!
Betsy Brainerd
I read this in one late afternoon/early evening sitting. It is written by a recovered drug/alcohol addict and her mother. They follow Kristina's descent (beginning at age 13) into drug and alcohol addiction, through failed rehabs and ultimate recovery while her mother describes the impact of this disaster on the rest of the family and her attempts to protect her other children. I've read other books about addiction (Beautiful Boy and Tweak for example), but this was compelling because it provide ...more
Ginger Jacobs
Kristina Wandzilak and her mother Constance Curry explain the unmanagable in the book "The Lost Years." The book is a heart warming memior that will inspire you beyond belief. The mother and daughter go through what no one wants to go through. Kristina was a successful young girl who had the talent and potentioal to go far, until one night ruined ever thing. After that one night, she was slowly but surely falling in a downward spiral heading for rock bottom. Kristina wasn't the same beautiful gi ...more
Self esteem can either make, or break us. A personal journey of self-loathing, wrong choices and hopelessness seen through the eyes of the addicted and a mother's love of faith, determination and hope.
This book is an wonderful story of how a young girl slides into the very depths of the Hell of addiction , how she feels as it begins ( the worthlessness) and how it deepens into intense self loathing , , and how she receives the miraculous gift of recovery and rebuilds her life. The story is told from the viewpoint of her mom and Kristina in a back and forth fashion which is simply captivating as each explains in real time what they see and feels as this story unfolds. And through the mom's eye ...more
Kim Ellis
pretty damn real. A good eye opener for anyone acting as a co-dependent. A true story that gives hope when so much hope is lost.
I couldn't put it down, even when tears were rolling nonstop. Hearing the story from each perspective in turn was so effective.
Kailey Kaminsky
A chilling depiction of the rapid descent into the darkness of addiction & the long & difficult journey back to living life & being a productive person. I'm not quite sure how Kristina remembers the details that she shared from the period of time when she was so close to death...or the times when she details events from when she had been high & without sleep for several days on end. Nonetheless, I found the book to be gripping & very visceral. The book is written in such a wa ...more
I couldn't put it down! What a harrowing account of the toll that addiction takes on a family. Brutally honest.
Such a good book! So many very sad things happen, but her turn around was amazing!
Excellent writing of recovery and survival
Shanice Mariee
This book taught me a lot because i seen how much people can actually struggle in the world. I also got to see both perspectives of a Druggy/Alcoholic & A mothers view. I learned that the world can be a hard place to live and even though some people might think that their lives are bad or theres something wrong with it theres someone else out there with an even WORSE life. It also taught me that everything can change you just have to believe it will and hope.
A powerful book detailing a young womans spiral into drug and alcohol addiction and her mother's simultaneous journey of heart wrenching despair. Both mother and daughter discover a strenth within themselves that empower them to face their demons, to tackle them and then to find a way to share their lives to help others. I could not put this book down. It should be required reading for every young teen and their parents.
Wow, is really all I can say. The brutal honesty cuts to your core if you have faced these issues in your family. Brilliantly outlining the life story of the addict, the denial, pain, fear, hopelessness and self-loathing. Blending that with the story of the mother desperate to save her child and then slowly coming to the realization she needed to save herself first. Both amazing women and I thank them for sharing their story.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
A really quick, really interesting look at addiction and family issues. Alternately told from the point-of-view of Kristina Wandzilak (the addict daughter) and her mother. I realized part-way through that this was the interventionist who appears on some "Intervention" show on TV--her personal story of how she overcame addiction.
This was a strong story and well writen. In seeing how stubborn this addicted girl/womam was and how she turned her stubborn behavoir to determination gives me hope that my family member will hopefully turn their life around and do something with their life gives me hope for a happy ending of my own
Jun 02, 2008 Lucia rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Codependecy and Addiction Issues
I picked this book up 3 days ago and haven't been able to put it down since! This is an autobiographical account of a mother and daughters' struggle with addiction and codependency told from both perspectives. It is an honest and compelling memoir with a clear message that change is possible.
Very good book. Cried multiple times. Loved it.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 31 32 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Rolling Away: My Agony with Ecstasy
  • Dying To Survive
  • Broken: My Story of Addiction and Redemption
  • Stay Close: A Mother's Story of Her Son's Addiction
  • Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery
  • Crazy Town: Money. Marriage. Meth.
  • The Addict: One Patient, One Doctor, One Year
  • Living at the Edge of the World: How I Survived in the Tunnels of Grand Central Station
  • Wasted
  • Terry: My Daughter's Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism
  • Everything I Never Wanted to Be: A Memoir of Alcoholism and Addiction, Faith and Family, Hope and Humor
  • Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: A Memoir
  • Hannah's Voice
  • Never Give in to Fear: Laughing All the Way Up From Rock Bottom
  • We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction
  • Aging with Grace: What the Nun Study Teaches Us About Leading Longer, Healthier, and More Meaningful Lives
  • Experiencing God's Presence: Learning to Listen While You Pray
  • Leaving Dirty Jersey: A Crystal Meth Memoir

Share This Book

“The most painful part of street life is the loss of dignity, and that sends people over the edge. Dignity is the glue that holds the mind, body, and spirit together, and once that is gone, the person breaks apart, held together only by skin. Street life corrodes the decency that lines the soul of every wakeful human.” 0 likes
More quotes…