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Stay Close: A Mother's Story of Her Son's Addiction
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Stay Close: A Mother's Story of Her Son's Addiction

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  200 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
During his early teens, Jeff Bratton started using drugs. At first, alcohol and pot, but quickly he spiraled into using cocaine, ketamine, crystal meth and eventually heroin.

How could this wonderful son, loving brother, and star athlete lose himself to drugs? How could his parents be so clueless? How could his mother, the long-term head of a private school, be so blind?

ebook, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by St. Martin's Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Stan Murai
Apr 01, 2014 Stan Murai rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is all too familiar to any
parent who has had to deal with the
addiction problems of one's own child.
It is about the love that prevails in
spite of the despair and sorrow that
a parent suffers not knowing what
to do in order to save a child's life.
No real solution for addiction is given,
but the author's son does recover and
allows the healing of the whole family.
It is a story of love and hope that may
offer strength and comfort to those who
live their lives with similar painful
Kathleen Pooler
Apr 18, 2017 Kathleen Pooler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As the mother of an addicted son, I connected immediately to this powerful memoir where Cataldi shares the story of her son, Jeff’s, valiant struggle to recover from severe drug addiction from her point of view. The heartache of watching a son descend into addiction is palpable and connected me to my own story.

With raw honesty, graphic detail, and believability, Cataldi takes us through her many attempts to save him, until she comes to the realization that until Jeff decides to quit, her loving
Dec 07, 2010 Cheri rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heartwrenching, Educational & Hopeful.
Roxanna zalesny
Mar 13, 2011 Roxanna zalesny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a horrifying account of how addiction can tear at the seams that hold a family together. The story--the same as millions of others--and yet unique too, shows how addiction impacts the family and threatens to destroy hope. Yet, this mother doesn't give up. She shares her struggle to stay close in love while desperately attempting to maintain boundaries to protect herself and not aide her son's seeming suicidal addiction all the while trying to construct meaning. This family's story, like ...more
Oct 19, 2010 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heart wrenching story by a mother of an addict son. A helpful and hopeful book for anyone who loves an addict!
Jul 19, 2011 Stacey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! Excellent! Excellent! This book is exactly what I needed after my son's relapse.
Sharon Warner
As a child, I witnessed all manner of adult F-ups. (I started to write screw-ups, but these mistakes I'm thinking of were life-changing.) Perhaps more than most young people, I weighed my own actions based on what I had seen befall those nearest and dearest. While I certainly made my own mistakes, they were not repeats; they were originals. I did not get pregnant by accident--repeatedly--for instance. Assertions that we all have to learn the hard way are quite simply wrong. Which is why I apprec ...more
Mar 15, 2012 Corny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This harrowing account of a son's addiction, told by his mother, is deeply moving and a must read for parents of addicts. Often repetitive but devastatingly honest, the book probes the mysteries of addictive behavior and its toxic effects on the family of an addict. However, it offers a strong note of hope in describing the agony of recovery and the continuing battle against relapses. The book concludes with a helpful afterword by the psychiatrist that treated the son. Parents of addicts will re ...more
Nov 28, 2013 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an inspirational book because it must have taken so much courage to write - having met Libby she explained how various initial attempts which didn't get so close to the knuckle were rejected and she really had to lay bear her pain and sense of guilt - as she put it -"strip off the layer of cellophane" -to write this book.
I am not a mother so I cant know how scary her situation was but I can certainly share her pain through this book.
It is a must read for anyone who is dealing with a lo
Rosalind Wiseman
Jun 20, 2013 Rosalind Wiseman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recommended
All over this country every day, families that look just like yours and mine shoulder the quiet, terrible pain of living with a loved one battling an addiction. Libby Cataldi’s Stay Close is an honest, stomach-churning account of her son’s drug problems and the steps, both for better and for worse, that her family took to help him. This book is both beautifully written and difficult to read, but it is a must for anyone who works with young people, and for the innumerable amount of loved ones who ...more
Jan 06, 2015 Chelsea rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A true story of the author's son's struggle with drug addiction. I feel bad to rate it so low, because it truly is an amazing story. However, I have read a lot of books on the same topic, and this one just paled in comparison writing-wise. I think my problem was with the author herself - it's not my place to judge a mother, and I'm sure it was extremely hard to cope in her situation...but she kept jetting off to Italy at really inopportune moments. It bothered me.
Sep 19, 2011 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, addiction
I enjoyed this book. The author struggles with her son as he walks through addiction. She is torn regarding her level of involvement. I will definitely recommend this to clients' families who are struggling with the same issues. I really liked that Jeff (the self-proclaimed addict) gets a voice in the novel, as well as his brother Jeremy.
Tara Howard
Feb 09, 2015 Tara Howard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get into this book. Maybe because it's written from the mother and I was looking more for a story of the addict themselves to fully try n understand the things they go through and their thought process. It seemed long and drawn out to me. I read a couple chapters but just couldn't get into it.
Lisa Gennusa-O'Connell
This was the best book I've read yet on the subject of addiction and its effects on the addict and his/her family. God Bless anyone and everyone who suffers with or loves someone who suffers with this most terrible disease.
Feb 03, 2015 Amber rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really hoped I'd enjoy this book. Unfortunately I couldn't get past the third chapter. I felt like it was too dry to keep my interest. I usually like reading about true stories but this one just left me struggling to stay focused. I must say it was a big disappointment.
Apr 02, 2015 Melanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is powerful book written by a brave mom and the tough choices she had to make so her son would live. It is a book I couldn't put down. It was emotionally powerful but, I needed to read it and get information for what I have gone through with family members.
Heather Mays
Jun 21, 2011 Heather Mays rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, addiction
An absolute must read for anyone dealing with an addict.
I read this book about 3 years ago and am getting ready to re-read it, I thought it was that good.
May 19, 2009 Elizabeth marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: npr, memoirs
As heard on Midday on WYPR.
Sue Campbell
Jan 30, 2016 Sue Campbell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another well told story of a child's addiction. This one told from a mother's perspective
Apr 09, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book has helped me so much.... thank you Libby
Ashlee Boyle
Feb 19, 2013 Ashlee Boyle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good read if you know of someone struggling with any type of addiction.
Dec 21, 2012 Stephanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Most beautiful book. If you know someone or is someone struggling with drug addiction, please read this.
Heartbreaking but beautifully written and loving.
Jan 22, 2014 Ladyoftheloom rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to stay close don't you? What else can you do if you are a mother who loves her child.
Pat Ahearn
Pat Ahearn rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2014
Heather rated it liked it
Aug 22, 2013
Glenn Lee
Glenn Lee rated it it was amazing
Dec 30, 2013
Kelly Mccalla
Kelly Mccalla rated it it was amazing
Jan 04, 2014
Simona Pacino
Simona Pacino rated it really liked it
Mar 30, 2013
Elaine rated it really liked it
Mar 22, 2014
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“Our family. We were like four figures in a mobile above a child’s crib: We danced and turned alone in our stories, but we were all connected, and the tossing and flailing of one affected us all.” 0 likes
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