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Dear William: A Father's Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, Love, and Loss

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Award-winning columnist and author David Magee addresses his poignant story to all those who will benefit from better understanding substance misuse so that his hard-earned wisdom can save others from the fate of his late son, William. The last time David Magee saw his son alive, William told him to write their family’s story in the hopes of helping others. Days later, Award-winning columnist and author David Magee addresses his poignant story to all those who will benefit from better understanding substance misuse so that his hard-earned wisdom can save others from the fate of his late son, William. The last time David Magee saw his son alive, William told him to write their family’s story in the hopes of helping others. Days later, David found William dead from an accidental drug overdose. Now, in a memoir suggestive of Augusten Burroughs meets Glennon Doyle, award-winning columnist and author David Magee answers his son's wish with a compelling, heartbreaking, and impossible to put down book that speaks to every individual and family. With honesty and heart, Magee shares his family’s intergenerational struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as his own reckoning with family secrets—confronting the dark truth about the adoptive parents who raised him and a decades-long search for identity. He wrestles with personal substance misuse that began at a young age and, as a father, he sees destructive patterns repeat and develop within his own children. While striving to find a truly authentic voice as a writer despite authoring nearly a dozen previous books, Magee ultimately understands that William had been right and their own family’s history is the story he needs to tell. A poignant and uplifting message of hope translates unimaginable tragedy into an inspirational commitment to saving others, as David founded the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi. His mission to share solutions to self-medication and addiction, particularly as it touches America’s high school and college students, emphasizes that William’s story is about much more than a tragic addiction—it’s an American story of a family broken by loss and remade with love. Dear William inspires readers to find purpose, build resilience, and break the cycles that damage too many individuals and the people who love them. It’s a life-changing book revealing how voids can be filled, and peace—even profound, lasting happiness—is possible.


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Award-winning columnist and author David Magee addresses his poignant story to all those who will benefit from better understanding substance misuse so that his hard-earned wisdom can save others from the fate of his late son, William. The last time David Magee saw his son alive, William told him to write their family’s story in the hopes of helping others. Days later, Award-winning columnist and author David Magee addresses his poignant story to all those who will benefit from better understanding substance misuse so that his hard-earned wisdom can save others from the fate of his late son, William. The last time David Magee saw his son alive, William told him to write their family’s story in the hopes of helping others. Days later, David found William dead from an accidental drug overdose. Now, in a memoir suggestive of Augusten Burroughs meets Glennon Doyle, award-winning columnist and author David Magee answers his son's wish with a compelling, heartbreaking, and impossible to put down book that speaks to every individual and family. With honesty and heart, Magee shares his family’s intergenerational struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as his own reckoning with family secrets—confronting the dark truth about the adoptive parents who raised him and a decades-long search for identity. He wrestles with personal substance misuse that began at a young age and, as a father, he sees destructive patterns repeat and develop within his own children. While striving to find a truly authentic voice as a writer despite authoring nearly a dozen previous books, Magee ultimately understands that William had been right and their own family’s history is the story he needs to tell. A poignant and uplifting message of hope translates unimaginable tragedy into an inspirational commitment to saving others, as David founded the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi. His mission to share solutions to self-medication and addiction, particularly as it touches America’s high school and college students, emphasizes that William’s story is about much more than a tragic addiction—it’s an American story of a family broken by loss and remade with love. Dear William inspires readers to find purpose, build resilience, and break the cycles that damage too many individuals and the people who love them. It’s a life-changing book revealing how voids can be filled, and peace—even profound, lasting happiness—is possible.

30 review for Dear William: A Father's Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, Love, and Loss

  1. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    While the author lost his son to addiction, the book mostly talks about the generational effects of the author’s own struggles with addiction and a troubled childhood. It is a cautionary tale. Memoirs are tough to rate. After all, this is the author’s story to tell, and I wish him the best in his journey of recovery and healing. I won’t go into details, but while I applaud his bravery in telling his story, appreciate the message, and have the utmost sympathy for his unimaginable loss, I wasn’t as While the author lost his son to addiction, the book mostly talks about the generational effects of the author’s own struggles with addiction and a troubled childhood. It is a cautionary tale. Memoirs are tough to rate. After all, this is the author’s story to tell, and I wish him the best in his journey of recovery and healing. I won’t go into details, but while I applaud his bravery in telling his story, appreciate the message, and have the utmost sympathy for his unimaginable loss, I wasn’t as taken with it as I anticipated. * I received a digital copy of the book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own * Publication date Nov 2, 2021

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susie | Novel Visits

    Wow! I'm a real outlier on this one. I just felt like the title suggested the focus of the book was going to be on his son, William. Instead it was about the author, who I had a hard time liking or even garnering much sympathy for. I feel awful saying this about a memoir, which I never like to be critical of, but things in this one made me cringe. Wow! I'm a real outlier on this one. I just felt like the title suggested the focus of the book was going to be on his son, William. Instead it was about the author, who I had a hard time liking or even garnering much sympathy for. I feel awful saying this about a memoir, which I never like to be critical of, but things in this one made me cringe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lauriegator

    I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my review. I picked up this book not long after my 32 year old son’s death due to end stage alcoholism. I also have experience in 12 step programs. This was a great tool for me to help deal with the pain from losing my son to alcoholism. I really enjoyed the pace and tone of the book and I felt it was very helpful. For folks who have no connection to a 12 step program, it is great for learning about the family disease of alcoholism. It r I was given a copy of this book by NetGalley in exchange for my review. I picked up this book not long after my 32 year old son’s death due to end stage alcoholism. I also have experience in 12 step programs. This was a great tool for me to help deal with the pain from losing my son to alcoholism. I really enjoyed the pace and tone of the book and I felt it was very helpful. For folks who have no connection to a 12 step program, it is great for learning about the family disease of alcoholism. It really gave me a new insight to my own 12 step program and is also great for folks in 12 step programs also!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Finney Moore

    Love this story and this family!! Great book on addiction,adoption,family, heart break,loss,college ,oxford MS, Redemption and HOPE! I highly recommend!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Reeca Elliott

    Let me do a…kind of disclaimer. I have met David Magee…he probably does not even remember it. We met at Ole Miss. My husband and David were in the same pledge class at Sigma Nu and I was a Sigma Nu Little Sister…back in the day….way back in the day. But, when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Let me say, my 5 star rating has nothing to do with our previous interactions. This book is outstanding on so many levels! David Magee has had his share of troubles growing up. He comes clean Let me do a…kind of disclaimer. I have met David Magee…he probably does not even remember it. We met at Ole Miss. My husband and David were in the same pledge class at Sigma Nu and I was a Sigma Nu Little Sister…back in the day….way back in the day. But, when I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. Let me say, my 5 star rating has nothing to do with our previous interactions. This book is outstanding on so many levels! David Magee has had his share of troubles growing up. He comes clean in this memoir about his mistakes, his own alcohol use, and his family dynamics. Life tends to throw us curve balls. How we react to these curve balls is what it is all about. It took David a while to come to terms with everything which occurred in his life. But, it has made him stronger and wiser. And this comes out strong in this memoir. This is a book everyone should read. It will open eyes and possibly help others in this situation. This book is expressive and must have been cathartic to write. Nothing can ever ease the pain of losing a child and you can feel the author’s pain and guilt all through this memoir. But, you can also feel purpose. The purpose to help someone else through his loss. What an outstanding man William was. He had such a bright future. But life turned on its axis. Hopefully this tragedy will help someone else in trouble. If you know anyone which needs help and guidance, please reach out: Magee Center at Ole Miss Need a life changing story you will not soon forget…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today. I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ted Alling

    We all have had loved ones be effected by addiction. David Magee unabashedly tells his raw story about his life, his wonderful family, and the dangers of drugs & alcohol. I couldn’t put this book down. Thanks for sharing your powerful story

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Priddy

    The book is raw and hard to read, but a beautiful story of lives lived within Gods story….obviously….because we would never choose this story for ourselves. However, God puts all the pieces together in ways only God can.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lanette Sweeney

    A raw, unflinching memoir from a successful family man whose two sons both suffer drug overdoses, one of them fatal, the other nearly so, while his daughter suffers an eating disorder and his marriage falls apart. The author, a business writer who has written multiple biographies of famous CEOs and big businesses, draws a clear, self-incriminating line between his own drinking and prescription drug abuse and his sons' drug use, as well as between his own bad behavior (he cheats on his wife) and A raw, unflinching memoir from a successful family man whose two sons both suffer drug overdoses, one of them fatal, the other nearly so, while his daughter suffers an eating disorder and his marriage falls apart. The author, a business writer who has written multiple biographies of famous CEOs and big businesses, draws a clear, self-incriminating line between his own drinking and prescription drug abuse and his sons' drug use, as well as between his own bad behavior (he cheats on his wife) and his marriage ending. His wife is described as a near-saint, and he doesn't fault her at all for ending their marriage. Magee spends a large part of this autobiography looking back on his childhood, in which he is consumed by hatred of his adoptive father, a closeted gay man who likes to take photographs of his male students, and his long-suffering mother, who pretends not to see that her husband is gay and endures endless emotional abuse from her adopted daughter/ Magee's sister. I found his relationship with and lack of feelings toward his adopted family painful to read about; he made me wonder if all adopted children feel this emotionally disconnected from their adoptive families. His sister, in particular, is described as nearly demonic; he shows her no compassion, and he is obviously still deeply resentful that his mother left her entire secretly amassed fortune to his sister. (I mean, who wouldn't be resentful, but it just seems sad he is never able to have any humane connection with his sister, not even when she turns out to have been the victim of sexual abuse in her adolescence.) The author, while hard on his adoptive family, is also hard on himself, recalling his hypocrisy as he waved his wine glass around while lecturing his kids on substance abuse. As someone who has lost a child to addiction, I admired his ability to draw this connection clearly; I know firsthand how difficult and painful it is to do that, Magee is eventually able to reach a place of forgiveness toward both his adoptive family and his biological mother, who repeatedly rejects and disappoints him, and most importantly toward himself. Magee also recounts meetings with his biological mother, father, and siblings. He meets some siblings over his biological mother's objections -- and finds an incredible coincidental connection with his adoptive father, whose family was already part of his life before he knew they were biologically related, a connection he discovers through DNA testing. He describes getting his under-age biological sister alcohol, which nearly caused her to be arrested, and how his interactions with his other biological siblings also involved alcohol. His adoptive family were tee-totalers, which he seems to resent. I was a bit disappointed the book focused so much on Magee's early years. The title "Dear William" suggests the book is going to focus more on his son's overdose, but the events that nearly killed his middle child and did kill his firstborn take up a fairly small portion of the book. The rest of the book was engaging, but I didn't always understand the author's reactions or emotions. Still, this is an important contribution to the addiction memoir genre, and I would recommend it. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest reveiw. (less)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Clairelouloves

    I thought this book was going to be similar to Beautiful Boy by David Sheff in which he chronicles his son’s addiction. However, more than writing about the pain and trauma of losing his child William to an overdose, the writer has painstakingly raked over the past and his own mistakes and flaws in unflinching detail, almost to make some kind of sense out of a tragedy. I was enraptured by his story and couldn’t put it down. The early dysfunction the author experienced growing up was worded with I thought this book was going to be similar to Beautiful Boy by David Sheff in which he chronicles his son’s addiction. However, more than writing about the pain and trauma of losing his child William to an overdose, the writer has painstakingly raked over the past and his own mistakes and flaws in unflinching detail, almost to make some kind of sense out of a tragedy. I was enraptured by his story and couldn’t put it down. The early dysfunction the author experienced growing up was worded with such honesty, I could feel myself nodding along, then shaking my head at parts, I really felt his story and found this book to be complex, intriguing and incredibly moving. 5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley for the arc.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Couldn’t put it down. Finished it in a day like everyone else. Gave it to my mother to read next. The most profound book I could have read right now at this point in my life. Reminded me of reading a David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs short but without all the laughs, mainly just heartbreak, loss, & yet ots of hope. Although I was in tears half of the time, the stories shared were absolutely fascinating and surprising. It touched me so much since the stories are all too familiar & so close to h Couldn’t put it down. Finished it in a day like everyone else. Gave it to my mother to read next. The most profound book I could have read right now at this point in my life. Reminded me of reading a David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs short but without all the laughs, mainly just heartbreak, loss, & yet ots of hope. Although I was in tears half of the time, the stories shared were absolutely fascinating and surprising. It touched me so much since the stories are all too familiar & so close to home. David‘s voice is so honest & raw, filled with such compassion & realness demonstrating immense breadth and sheer LOVE. *Oughta be made into a film IMO.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Amy Cole

    It is rare for me to finish a book in a day, but that is because David’s story is that captivating. He writes with honesty and vulnerability without sparing any of the hard details which is refreshing. It is heartbreaking to read, but there is healing and redemption. Very thankful for David further opening my eyes to the substance abuse problem that is rampant in America and especially on the college campus. His story grew a greater empathy within me for those struggling and I am thankful for th It is rare for me to finish a book in a day, but that is because David’s story is that captivating. He writes with honesty and vulnerability without sparing any of the hard details which is refreshing. It is heartbreaking to read, but there is healing and redemption. Very thankful for David further opening my eyes to the substance abuse problem that is rampant in America and especially on the college campus. His story grew a greater empathy within me for those struggling and I am thankful for the work he is doing at Ole Miss.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michele Rice Carpenter

    Perfect Title This book is perfectly titled. It covers each topic well. It's not an easy read, but it would make a difference for anyone who has experienced loss because of addiction. I also recommend this book to anyone who works with those who struggle with addiction. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Perfect Title This book is perfectly titled. It covers each topic well. It's not an easy read, but it would make a difference for anyone who has experienced loss because of addiction. I also recommend this book to anyone who works with those who struggle with addiction. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Alison

    A beautiful story of family and fatherhood.♥️

  14. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Pennington

    Highly recommend this memoir, it is not only about his son William it is so much more! I feel he is very open and honest about his struggles along with other family members as well. I could not put it down, listened to the audiobook read by author. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kristi

    4.5 stars

  16. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    Couldn’t put it down. Will be in the running for my favorite book of 2022.

  17. 5 out of 5

    John Taillie

    Both encouraging and heartbreaking. A unique story with issues that are all too common. Thank you, David for sharing so that others can be saved! God bless you.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Holly Koons

    This book was raw, powerful, emotional and yet hopeful. I’ll be thinking about it for a very long time.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sherri Puzey

    159 // “My beautiful family of five: all breaking, one by one. I desperately want to help, but I, their father, am broken.” DEAR WILLIAM is a vulnerable and moving memoir about addiction and substance abuse and its impact on this family who tragically lost their son to an accidental overdose. I picked this book up on the recommendation of both @anniebjones05 and @wacoreads expecting it to be a memoir on loss and grief and addiction. It is, but it’s also so much more than that! @davidmageewriter s 159 // “My beautiful family of five: all breaking, one by one. I desperately want to help, but I, their father, am broken.” DEAR WILLIAM is a vulnerable and moving memoir about addiction and substance abuse and its impact on this family who tragically lost their son to an accidental overdose. I picked this book up on the recommendation of both @anniebjones05 and @wacoreads expecting it to be a memoir on loss and grief and addiction. It is, but it’s also so much more than that! @davidmageewriter so generously shares with readers his search for identity, the complicated histories of both his adoptive and birth families, the brokenness of his own family, and his fight to make his family whole again. It’s both tender and compelling. I felt so honored to be invited into this family’s most intimate and difficult times, and I admire David’s desire to use their grief and heartbreak to help others. I had the privilege of talking to David about his book for an IGTV for @momsdonthavetimetogrieve and was moved to tears by our conversation. This is an incredible memoir — highly recommend!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rob Treppendahl

    You will simply not be able to put this book down. David writes an incredibly compelling story that will break your heart and draw you into every word. He writes with incredible honestly and vulnerability and leaves it all on the table. This story will make you cry and inspire you to do bigger things with your life. Everyone needs to read this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie Abercrombie

    One family’s fight of a lifetime against addiction. Could not put it down! Author born and raised in Ms made it even more interesting.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Servati Abraham

    This was such a captivating, honest and heartbreaking read about the destructive nature of addiction and family trauma. I couldn’t put it down but had to at times due to the weight and heaviness of it- it is a lot to process. My only critique is that I wish I knew more about David’s road to sobriety and recovery- did he seek treatment or therapy for himself and to help sort through his story? Overall, it’s a wonderful story and I’m thankful for the light this family is so courageously shedding o This was such a captivating, honest and heartbreaking read about the destructive nature of addiction and family trauma. I couldn’t put it down but had to at times due to the weight and heaviness of it- it is a lot to process. My only critique is that I wish I knew more about David’s road to sobriety and recovery- did he seek treatment or therapy for himself and to help sort through his story? Overall, it’s a wonderful story and I’m thankful for the light this family is so courageously shedding on addiction, loss and trauma.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Janne Swearengen

    Over the past couple of days, I listened to a most remarkable book, "Dear William" by Oxford, Mississippi's David Magee. To depart from my consistent predilection of reading strictly for entertainment, this book is the true and powerful story of a father's love for a son that fought 'tooth and toenail' to get and stay free from drugs. And, for a more potent punch, David Magee is the narrator. How he pulled it off is nothing short of miraculous but he did and did it like no one else could do. Ple Over the past couple of days, I listened to a most remarkable book, "Dear William" by Oxford, Mississippi's David Magee. To depart from my consistent predilection of reading strictly for entertainment, this book is the true and powerful story of a father's love for a son that fought 'tooth and toenail' to get and stay free from drugs. And, for a more potent punch, David Magee is the narrator. How he pulled it off is nothing short of miraculous but he did and did it like no one else could do. Please get and read or listen to this book; it is such a gift to us.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    I read this book in one day. In another book I read recently, the author talked about books you read at the table during mealtime, books that get stained with food because you can't stop reading. I couldn't stop reading this memoir. I know some will find it too sad. It was sad, heartbreaking in fact. But it was full of love and hope too. I'm not doing it justice but a portion of the proceeds of this book will go toward helping others like William. If for no other reason, read this book. I read this book in one day. In another book I read recently, the author talked about books you read at the table during mealtime, books that get stained with food because you can't stop reading. I couldn't stop reading this memoir. I know some will find it too sad. It was sad, heartbreaking in fact. But it was full of love and hope too. I'm not doing it justice but a portion of the proceeds of this book will go toward helping others like William. If for no other reason, read this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Brad Brodersen

    I recommend this book for anyone with a family member dealing with addiction. It shows the pain and destruction that addictions cause a family, the deep roots in family trees, and that some good can come out of very sad and painful situations.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    This is a brutally heartbreaking but honest book of the author David Magee's personal story. His story starts with the angst of growing up adopted in a loving family that is dysfunctional (but really whose family isn't dysfunctional these days?) and then falling into his addictions. His career suffered, his marriage suffered, his children suffered, and the worst part of addictions is seeing your children fall into them. All of his children suffered with their own issues in different ways. Part o This is a brutally heartbreaking but honest book of the author David Magee's personal story. His story starts with the angst of growing up adopted in a loving family that is dysfunctional (but really whose family isn't dysfunctional these days?) and then falling into his addictions. His career suffered, his marriage suffered, his children suffered, and the worst part of addictions is seeing your children fall into them. All of his children suffered with their own issues in different ways. Part of the time, I was so frustrated that he and his wife just "trusted" their kids and believed they would get better when they should have intervened (or at least it seemed so to me). But those with addictions are not good at helping others with addictions! I do hope whoever reads this book takes it to heart. If you think you need help, GET IT and don't wait! If you see someone in trouble, help, intervene, get help from someone who CAN do something. Drugs and alcohol are dangerous. There is a genetic as well as a lifestyle component to addictions. Addictions are getting worse as time goes on now that we know a single grain of fentanyl can kill a person! Just don't try drugs even from your best friend!!! The best part is seeing the Univ. of Miss. open an addiction center for students. Every college campus should have one as part of the Student Wellbeing centers on most campuses.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lanie

    Upon finishing this book, it has taken me a few days to process how much this book touched me. Dear William is a very profound book. A few days prior, I had seen Bono on The Today show. He said he "sings to survive". I believe that some people ``write to survive". This book may have been David's way of writing to survive every parent's worst nightmare. Thankfully, the Magee family became free from worries about what other people thought of them because they saw the need to be vulnerable and shar Upon finishing this book, it has taken me a few days to process how much this book touched me. Dear William is a very profound book. A few days prior, I had seen Bono on The Today show. He said he "sings to survive". I believe that some people ``write to survive". This book may have been David's way of writing to survive every parent's worst nightmare. Thankfully, the Magee family became free from worries about what other people thought of them because they saw the need to be vulnerable and share their story. To me, the main thing I got from this book was to open parent's eyes about warning signs that we may miss. Hindsight is 20/20 and this family has the hindsight to be able to guide/warn other parents. William was in the honors program at college and a SEC athlete, yet, he was still doing illegal substances. I appreciate David's honesty about the signs they missed. That is why I recommend this book as a must read for parents. The book tackles other issues ---adoption, suicide, marraige troubles, divorce and reconcillation. This book touched me so much because the Magee family made the decision to share all of their emotions. This sharing can help so many people navigate their feelings through difficult situations. As soon as I finished reading, Dear William, I wanted to read it again. I wanted to capture all of the wisdom that David, Kent and their children could give to parents. It is a very sad book that is also filled with hope. David used his grief and hardship to help other parents avoid what they had to experience. This book may have touched me more than any book I have ever read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This book is about a family addiction that hits everyone in the family. It starts with David and Eunice who are both adopted into a family. A family that is full of secrets. Growing is difficult in this family and it makes for a hard road in the future. David vows that when he gets out he will make a better future for his family. Kent and David meet and they fall in love. They marry and seem to have the ideal life. They both have jobs that they love and then they add three children from there. T This book is about a family addiction that hits everyone in the family. It starts with David and Eunice who are both adopted into a family. A family that is full of secrets. Growing is difficult in this family and it makes for a hard road in the future. David vows that when he gets out he will make a better future for his family. Kent and David meet and they fall in love. They marry and seem to have the ideal life. They both have jobs that they love and then they add three children from there. They seem to do everything right but somehow there family ends up in trouble. This is a good book about how things can go wrong in a family and what the consequences are. It also teaches the sign of what to watch for when your kids are in trouble. This story will make you cry and really make you value your family. It will also give you insight into the life of addiction. Must read book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Katee

    Really 3.5. This is a well written, heart-breaking book. But, as others have pointed out, it is more autobiography than the story of William. And Magee talks about wanting to write his memoir when he was younger, so it feels like he snuck it in here. Magee's history does, of course, play a part of his sons' addictions. The odd part though is they he doesn't clearly state all the connections. Maybe he does this intentionally (however in my experience the general reading public needs things to be Really 3.5. This is a well written, heart-breaking book. But, as others have pointed out, it is more autobiography than the story of William. And Magee talks about wanting to write his memoir when he was younger, so it feels like he snuck it in here. Magee's history does, of course, play a part of his sons' addictions. The odd part though is they he doesn't clearly state all the connections. Maybe he does this intentionally (however in my experience the general reading public needs things to be explicit), or maybe it is a lack of insight (and lack of counselling/rehab etc). But his story would have been that much more helpful if he had clearly pointed out how his unhappy childhood, combined with addictions in his birth family, led to his own addictions and to a series of odd career moves and bad choices. And these choices, combined with his DNA, and other issues, led to his kids' addictions.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Cappiello

    I hate writing reviews of memoirs. This is someone’s life story, who am I to judge? Obvious from the title, this is a devastatingly heavy book. I thought this story would be about William but it’s actually mostly about the author, David, and his struggles with addiction and issues as an adopted child. He and his wife seem to have a very normal life, raising three kids in private schools. This book does a great job of highlighting that we never know what families are really struggling with behind I hate writing reviews of memoirs. This is someone’s life story, who am I to judge? Obvious from the title, this is a devastatingly heavy book. I thought this story would be about William but it’s actually mostly about the author, David, and his struggles with addiction and issues as an adopted child. He and his wife seem to have a very normal life, raising three kids in private schools. This book does a great job of highlighting that we never know what families are really struggling with behind closed doors. Addiction runs deep in this family and if you’re like me, you’ll be asking what more can this family take?? I didn’t feel a strong connection with David as the storyteller. I’m curious how this book would read from his wife Kent’s perspective. As a mom of to teens, I know I’m terrified of drugs and alcohol becoming an issue for my kids and their friends.

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