Amellia (Omaha NE)
The interesting part of this book is allowing the reader to be "in the head" of the two main characters. Your easily able to understand what's going on in the mother of the addict's head, as well as the addict. This gives the reader an understanding to the complex emotions of each character.
The not so interesting side of this novel is the overwhelming exhaustion I felt as I read. When I first read the synopsis, I suppose I had a Augusten Burroughs feel for the book. I was immediately excited to read this, why the Burroughs feel, I'm not sure. When I started reading I knew this was more intense than any other book I'd read. I pushed through to be able to give this a review...and give the book all of my attention until it was complete. Once I finished I was glad the book was over. I never felt anything other than sadness, depression and exhaustion as I read. The life of the addict and his mother is a never ending cycle of feeling drained. If the author wrote this in trying to capture these emotions, then they did a wonderful job. So dear readers...if you're looking for a book to keep you going at night, lift your spirits, or maybe take you on a little journey, I'd avoid this one. If you want to take a stroll in the lives of addicts and mental health issues ... this this is your book ... good luck.
Debbie (Grand Junction CO)
What a wonderful book. The characters really drew me into the story. The author was able to portray the problems drugs create between parent and child, no matter what their ages. I think we often assume only teens have drug problems, we don't often read accounts of adult children and their parents. The struggle can go on for years and this book provided insight into that problem.
I enjoyed the writing and the story and look forward to other books by this author.
Debi (Charleston SC)
This book was very hard for me to read because of the content, but yet it was extremely hard to put down. It was so easy to get involved in the lives of Del and Mark. To me the book was just as addictiive as Mark's addition to his drugs. I love getting totally involved in a book and I did with this one. Through Ginnah Howard's wonderfully sensitive writing, I was able to experience the same emotional ups and downs the characters experienced, from anger to love, from hope to disappointment, from steadfast loyalty to wanting to walk away.
I look forward to Ginnah Howard's next book.
Melanie (Templeton MA)
Good not great....
This was just an ok read for me, although I did like the alternating chapters between mother and son. It didn't grip me as I had hoped it would, but I'm glad I did read it, as the subject matter was very real and interesting to read. Not a book I would rush to get to, but not one I would let pass me by either!
Wendy (Kalamazoo MI)
This is an interesting book detailing the lives of a drug addict and his enabling mother. The plot moves through a short time period in their lives and clues to familial relationship that may have led to the son's addiction bubble to the surface throughout. I enjoyed this but the book left me with unanswered questions about the family history. It was also a little slow starting.
Sheryl (DeQuincy LA)
This book, about a mother and son moving through their respective recoveries from co-dependence and drug addiction, is painfully raw and true to life. Although a "novel", there is no doubt left in the reader's mind at the end of the book that the author knows whereof she speaks. For me, it was one of those books that mesmerized and intrigued me but that I could only read a little at a time. As a licensed social worker, I was impressed that the author captured even the small details of the addiction recovery process accurately. Doing that in such beautiful, concise, and poetic clarity is nothing short of amazing.
Leann (Springfield IL)
Night Navigation by Ginnah Howard
This book as a memoir was unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of drug addiction and how it affects everyone connected to the addict. The seemingly never ending cycle of hope, anxiety, disappointment, guilt, fear, despair and back to hope when the relapsed addict eventually runs out of other options and once again reaches out for help. For those whove been there, its all too real.
Unfortunately, its as wearying to read about as it sounds. Which is why, as a novel, I think it fails. No one is transformed, no one grows, nothing is learned. We end up at the same place we started in except maybe were a little more ground down from the struggle. Im not saying that I have to have a happy ending or even a nicely packaged resolution. I really dont. However, from a novel that addresses something as serious as this subject, I expect a little more. I want some insight, some transformation, some growth, something for my effort. I just dont think this delivered the deeper qualities that a novel should.