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Publication Date: 2014
A Very Fine House is an intimate memoir of a mothers Norman Rockwell family turned upside down by her daughters descent into meth addiction and crime. Bright and beautiful, Annie is an unlikely candidate for meth. Living fast and hard on the streets of Bend, Oregon, she commits crimes against herself, the community, and her own family.
The author chronicles her childs addiction in a way that other writers have not written about addiction. What begins as an obsession to save her daughter, and a rage against God for allowing drugs to devour her college-age girl, transforms into release in a life changing letting-go-and-letting-God moment.
The reader is first introduced to the Stoefen family and Barbaras dream for its idyllic future. Kinks in the perfect life appear. When Annies alcoholism, drug use, and criminality ensue, Barbara fights to save her. There is all-consuming grief and the devastating loss of not just her daughter, but her dream for her own life as well. Barbara eventually finds support and a new way of thinking. While she continues the battle to save her daughter, she ultimately finds the courage to save herself. The conclusion deals with Annies recoveryand Barbaras. Both experience a spiritual awakening and are transformed. A new and better dream for Barbaras life is born.
Barbara Cofer Stoefen is a drug prevention activist in Oregon and advocate for recovering addicts. She presently serves as president of the Meth Action Coalition, a nonprofit organization providing education and community awareness on all drugs of abuse. Barbara is a graduate of the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of Americas (CADCA) National Coalition Academy, and is an active member of several coalitions working to reduce drug and alcohol abuse among minors. Barbara holds a bachelors degree in business administration and spent her early career in human resource management at well-known high-tech Silicon Valley companies. Barbara has been married to Pete for thirty-two years. They have two adult children, Annie and Jeff.
ajf4 Stars Out Of 5TouchingAugust 16, 2016ajfQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Felt her heartache and anguish in this story. A very difficult season in her life. A great read for all.
Anita5 Stars Out Of 5Loved itMay 9, 2016AnitaQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0That story hit so close to home for me. The only difference was that I was the meth addict and I came so close to dying. I hurt my kids, myself and anyone else who loved me. I'm glad the 12 step groups were able to help. I wasn't so lucky. I came across some people in recovery I thought were my friends, but turned out to only be my friends as long as I stayed clean. After 3 years sobriety, I relapsed and when I tried to come back begging for help, they all turned their backs on me. Only the men in the meeting gave me their numbers and I needed that like I needed a hole in my head. Instead I got clean by myself with no help from anyone. I am now 10 years clean by the grace of God. I cheered for Annie all the way through.
Adoption MamaTampa, FloridaAge: 35-44Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Book Review - A Very Fine HouseDecember 27, 2014Adoption MamaTampa, FloridaAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4Being in the midst of a home of three teens and having hit some difficult years I chose a memoir for my next book review.
A Very Fine House, written by Barbara Cofer Stoefen, is a heart wrenching story of a mother and daughter's relationship through the addiction battle. She writes very candidly yet compassionately. The battle is truly felt as you read through the pages of a hurting mother. She profoundly moves through fear and anger to compassion and love. It is a beautiful testimony to how strong the family bonds are no matter what comes your way. A mother simply cannot stop loving and fighting for her children.
Having gone through a very rocky road with one of my own, I felt her pain, yet was a little discouraged by the few times the Lord was brought up. I know from experience, I would not have made it without Christ and Him being my rock. "Faith" is a very subjective word. I would love to have a sit down with Mr. Stoefen and unwrap that a tad bit more.
In light of that, I was encouraged to persevere in my own mother/child relationships. And I want to remember this profound quote: "Those who might judge the disasters of others may not yet have had their own." Very true. Very true indeed.
cathyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A Very Fine HouseDecember 6, 2014cathyKansasAge: 55-65Gender: femaleA Very Fine House by Barbara Cofer Stoefen is the story of a mother's story of love, faith, and crystal meth. This is the story of the Stoefen family's walk down the road of addiction with their daughter. This is the story of how parents can do the very best job they know how to raise their children to be fine and upstanding citizens of society and still have a child who becomes addicted to drugs. The author and mother in the story tells the not so pretty tale of addiction and the life on the street that their daughter lived but then she tells the story of how that affected the family-mom, dad, and the kids who follow the rules. How do you show love to the child you have lost to street drugs and still teach the remaining child that he must follow the rules? What do you pray for when it seems that your daughter is determined to live opposing God's will? How much do you spend on a child who appears to just throw it all away when the child who is doing most things right has needs also? Is it something that I did wrong as a mother or father or something that I didn't do? Is she just a "bad seed"? All of these questions and more are answered but the author does not say that she has all the answers--only reports what they did and what didn't work and finally what did. Though this book is told through the mother's eyes also through conversations tells about what the addict and the rest of the family feels like during this ordeal. It is not a pretty picture but it is a revealing look into addiction.
I liked this book though I didn't have to deal with this issue with my children. It is an issue that touched my family though my children's friends and of course others in my wider family as I am sure unless the reader has their head in the sand it does all families. This book opened my mind to some of the truths regarding addiction that I had no idea. How do you love a child who broke into your house and robbed you of your prized possessions. How can a child figure our how to break into your house after you have changed all the locks but still not figure out how to use society's tools to break free of addiction? This book does not pretend to answer all your questions but it does have a list in the back of further reading to assist that parent who is going through this with their family. It is a good book to read if you are like me and have been blessed with drug free children but have friends going through this so that you can be a good support person for them. It is a book we all need to read as drug use and misuse is becoming more widespread through the country. It would be a good conversation starter as your child grows toward their teen years.
I received this book from Booklook for this review.
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