Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir

An award-winning memoir of hard times between a mother and her teenage daughters, and the long path toward reconciliation and love

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“With surprising honesty, veteran journalist Gwartney recounts the painful years that her two oldest daughters lived as runaways. She tried everything to find them—and everything failed, including searching for them herself. She manages to look deep inside herself, asking not only ‘How is our family going to get through this?’ but also ‘What could I have done differently?’ The answers make for a truly absorbing read about how one mother copes with every parent’s worst nightmare. Readers may remember Gwartney’s story from her 2002 appearance on This American Life. Ripe for book clubs and parents who have been put through the wringer by their children.”

Library Journal review (starred)

Review Live Through This

Praise for Live Through This

“An achingly beautiful chronicle of unfashionable sorrow, flickering hope, and quiet redemption.”

— Starred Kirkus review

“A truly absorbing read about how one mother copes with every parent’s worst nightmare.”

Starred Library Journal review

“Lighted from inside with a fearsome truth.”

Cleveland Plains Dealer

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National Book Critics Circle Award



Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award



Oregon Book Awards