Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Review: Shannon's Hope by Josi S. Kilpack

****--4 Stars.
July 2013, 224 pages.
Source: checked out from the library.

Amazon Description: Shannon’s troubled stepdaughter has been missing for two weeks. When Keisha finally calls, Shannon doesn’t hesitate to welcome her into her home—despite her husband, John’s, misgivings. As a pharmacist, Shannon has always taken an analytical view of Keisha’s addiction problems and feels that treating her underlying depression and providing a support system can break the bonds that have taken over her life. When Keisha first begins breaking the rules, Shannon worries John will kick Keisha out and send her back to her druggie friends. Shannon commits to being even more diligent in helping Keisha. As more of her energy goes toward Keisha, a distance emerges between Shannon, her husband, and their twelve-year-old son, Landon. Shannon finds it easy to justify her own behavior as unconditional love, but as Keisha’s stumblings become dramatic falls, Shannon realizes this is no longer just about Keisha. Shannon finds herself facing the reality that addiction comes in many forms. Can she shift her perspective from Keisha’s future—which was never hers to control—to her own? Can she keep from spiraling into a pattern of obsessive rescuing and find the strength to repair her own fractured relationships before she drives her husband and son away for good?

My Review: This is the first book in the second set in this series. It almost had a journal-like feel to it, but I still really enjoyed it.

Shannon is Ruby's niece--the one who started up a book club--and she is roped into going by her aunt. She's not a big fiction reader--she's a pharmacist and more interested in science and non-fiction. She has a step-daughter who is nothing but trouble. Keisha is heavily involved in drugs and is trying to change, but it's a lot harder to do than she thinks. Shannon has such love for Keisha and goes above and beyond in trying to help her--to the point where it almost puts her happy marriage in jeopardy.

I think addiction is a major issue in our society today and Shannon's experience with it made it seem more real. I sometimes think, "Why can't they just quit using?" but it's really not that simple. I think sometimes, unknowingly, we enable the user by loving them too much. Making excuses for them, giving them chance after chance after chance, really doesn't cut it when the person is in too deep. I didn't think too much love was possible, but in some situations, tough love is definitely what it takes to help them. And even then, sometimes it's just not enough. This story, even though it's fiction, was definitely eye-opening for me.

Content: nothing is graphic, but this story deals with addiction so drug use is mentioned as well as means to make money for drugs--prostitution, theft, lying, etc. I believe there were just a couple of swear words too. 

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