Rated of 5
by Julie Not an easy read
If you are looking for a light, easy read, this isn't your book. This is a fabulous book that seems so true to life because the author lived it.
As the wife of a recovering addict (my husband was 2 years sober when we met), there were so many painful parts to this story. Ginnah Howard digs deep and comes out with a fantastic, realistic story about living with an addict, loving an addict, being an addict and dealing with mental illness.
You won't be disappointed in this one.
Rated of 5
by Rachelle Excellent Book
I found this to be a great read. As a mental health professional I found myself reading a story that I've seen play out more than once with families I've worked with. Del, the enabling mother struggling to want to give her son "tough love" but also wanting to just protect him a little longer. Mark, lost in a world of drugs, self medicating his mania, struggling to find a way out only to fall back into all of it. This is not a "light" novel, its dark and angsty and angry and anxious and you will quickly find yourself drawn into their world.
Rated of 5
by Eileen Good not Great
This is a heart rending story of the struggles of a mentally ill addict and the struggles of a family. Del, the Mom, lives in constant fear of what will become of her son, Mark, while trying to live some sort of life of her own. Not really tough love material, Del has a hard time letting the chips fall for her son, but an almost harder time continuing to support him. Mark does not make it easy to do either.
As moving as this story is I found myself, for some reason at times, a little annoyed with the Mom and sick of Mark. Del's love of Mark seems to have a desperation about it, and for good reason we learn as the tale unfolds. Despite this I still found myself impatient with the development of the plot. There were parts of the book when I could not put it down, and then parts where I found myself skimming a little.
In the end I would categorize "Night Navigation" as a good read on many levels but average when compared to some of the more mature books of this genre.
Rated of 5
by Kimberly Night Navigation
Night Navigation by Ginnah Howard is a gripping, yet depressing, novel. Del, the 60+ year-old mother alternates telling the story with her 37 year-old son who is a drug addict and a perpetual source of stress for Del. The book intrigued me right from the beginning and did not disappoint through the last page. The parade of unsavory characters and Dels inability to give her son the tough love he seems to be craving proved to be extremely frustrating for this reader. Ginnah Howard bases this novel on personal experiences which enhances its believability and kept me rooting for Del until the end (no matter how many times I wanted to shake her and shout NO!). This book is a terrific read but may need to be taken in small doses.
Rated of 5
by Darra Like Watching a Trainwreck...
I found reading this gritty novel about the relationship between a drug-addicted, bipolar adult son and his enabling mother akin to watching a train wreck: simultaneously horrifying and mesmerizing. The language is spare - at times almost abrupt - contributing to the sense of tension and anxiety that pervades the third-person, shifting narrative. If you were grabbed by A Million Little Pieces, you might want to pick this one up ... then be prepared to keep those pages turning.
Rated of 5
by Jane Night Navigation
This is a powerful book. Not only did the author have to have "used personal experience" to write this book, she had to have lived the life of an addict or a co-dependent to get the tone of this tale exactly right.
I have a brother who went through drug addiction, and I watched my mother live the life of the mother in this book. Watching the addicted person ruin his life is bad enough, but also having to watch the decline of the co-dependent in the relationship is doubly bad because you feel like they have the power to step away from the craziness. In reading this book I think Ms. Howard has adequately presented the case that the co-dependents are as much addicts as the ones addicted to the narcotic.
I also was intrigued by the character of Aaron -- the second brother. I was never sure whether his demons were exacerbated by narcotics/alcohol or whether he was just struggling with the inheritance of mental illness. In any case, the descriptions of his reactions to the brother, father and mother were reminiscent of some of my own (if you take away the cloudiness of drugs/mental illness!)
The mother, Del, was strangely able to draw a line in the sand with helping Aaron, even with his obvious mental problems. She refused to help him buy a car and pay for his schooling unless he was able to contribute in part to those things. Why did this mother see this son differently ... who knows? But I can tell you my mother saw my brothers and sisters differently than she did my addicted brother too. She had the same all inclusive see-no-wrong view with my addicted brother as Dell did, while the rest of us were expected to stand on our own two feet, did so nicely, and thank God every day we did. That is the role of the parent -- to prepare a child for life not to live that life for them. Most of learning is done by living through mistakes ... a co-dependent doesn't let the object of her attention live through mistakes, and thus they are incapable of functioning on their own.
The character, Richard, the mother's significant other, was right on target for how an outsider sees the madness of a family caught up in this merry-go-round. I was struck by his patience and his strong love for Del in his willingness to continue to offer her solace despite his disgust with her inability to walk away from a toxic situation. I thought he offered insight on how you can still love someone in this situation but distance yourself from the madness ... create boundaries. Even with his boundaries he lost the comfort of having her with him as he went through the most difficult time of his life ... and how that affected his willingness to continue to be a part of what was happening.
This isn't a light beach read. It is a serious look at addiction and how it affects a family. I thought it was extremely well written. I think counselors wanting to help co-dependents should have them read this book. It is a cold shock to be reading this and realize you lived this story. I believe it will help friends and families of addicts take a step back and try to save themselves and learn they cannot save the addict. The addict has to save the addict in order NOT to be an addict.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...