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

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  792 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
Kristina, the second of four children, begins by telling how a little sip of vodka sipped secretly at a party her parents were giving, started her on a pathway to addiction. In that instant, alcohol became her pathway to comfort. Over the next 8 years she sinks further into addiction moving on to cocaine and methamphetamines. In telling her story, she gives a brutally hone ...more
Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published (first published September 1st 2006)
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Oct 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
May 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Feb 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Apr 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent and compelling book about addiction from the perspective of a mother and a daughter. An AMAZING read!
Jeff Burklin
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Kerrie Rodgerson
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, 4 1/2 stars. Very raw, meaningful and moving.
Ann Cromie
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Required reading for anyone living with an addict or alcoholic

Not the best written book but brutally honest about where addiction can take family. Kristina's portion was poignant, Mom's was a bit stifled.
Andrea Timm
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A story that is so truthful, it hurts.

At first the story was slow going, but I kept on reading. It became more raw and honest, the more I read.
Laura Copley
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful inspiring story. Read it in 2 days.
Veronica Winternheimer
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great Story

I would recommend this book to any family dealing with addictions. Setting boundaries. Very touching story of love and honesty. Becoming a hu!Mann.
Ferrill Gibbs
Feb 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lost Years is a compelling, sad, and sometimes even brutal addiction novel, with a satisfying, resolving final act.
Aryn Smith
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The emotional rollercoaster this book takes you on is unlike any other. Kristina's story is so honest and shows such bravery allowing readers to learn to gain an insight view of Kristina's struggles with addiction and also how it effects each member of the family through the viewpoint of Kristina's Mom.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was incredible and I couldn't put it down. Such a powerful story.
May 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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.

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
Oct 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sep 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Peggy Smithback
Dec 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wish I had found this book sooner

To say that this is a must read for families struggling with addiction is an understatement. It is the best portrayal of the brutal reality of what addiction can do to a family as well as what hope lies in recovery. I could relate to this story as my daughter is a recovering addict and the feelings and emotions expressed throughout this story could have come directly from my own life. I liked the simplicity of the way the story was told. There are a lot of good
Kailey Kaminsky
May 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
An amazingly detailed account from the lives of a mother and daughter and their relationship as an addict and an enabler. Both of their stories are told simultaneously in this book. I was extremely moved by both of their stories, I would recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with disease of addiction who knows they have a problem but are afraid they cant help themselves. Just the things Kristina was able to accomplish after getting clean and dry brought me to tears. I plan on reading i ...more
Kimberly Keys arasato
This book is a must read for anyone with addiction in their life; whether it be a personal struggle or that of a close relative. The two authors present addiction from the daughter's perspective; as the addict; as well as from the mother's perspective. It is a heartfelt book that will take you through the depths of despair and struggle, but will ultimately help understand the perspective from both sides. Thank you to both of you. The struggle is real and it's nice that someone can openly talk ab ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Shanice Mariee
Dec 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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“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.” 1 likes
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