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Posted February 1, 2005

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By: Fritz Hamilton
Open Hand Publishing: 1990
ISBN 0-940880-29-6

Reviewed by: Kristie Henley

Love, Debra is a heart-wrenching book with a good story line that makes the reader want to continue reading from start to finish. The book is small, but packed with details that describe the abuse cycle and addictive tendencies. It shows that without proper intervention and working through issues, troubles will follow victims no matter where they move.

This story, written in letter style, portrays a realistic story of Debra's life. Debra, whose father and his girlfriend sexually abused her and whose mother, an alcoholic, died when she was a teenager, runs away to find a better life. What she finds however is just as bad as the life she leaves. From drugs and alcohol, to prostitution and abuse, Debra finds that no matter where she tries to go to get away from this deadly cycle, she always attracts the same lifestyle.

The dynamics of dysfunction in Debra's family, and the lifestyle she runs to, leave the reader aching to reach in to hold and comfort her, yet at the same time, wanting to grab her and shake some sense into her. It describes the coping mechanisms she chose to deal with her family's dysfunction, and shows how without the proper intervention, changing directions may be impossible.

Love, Debra could be an appropriate read for addicted adolescents who hit a resistant stage in their recovery. It could also be helpful for parents of addicted adolescents who need to see how bad life could get for their child without intervention. The realistic way this story portrays the addictive lifestyle and pain in Debra's life might give families insight and help them see intervention as a necessary opportunity to “break the cycle.”

About the Author:
[Fritz Hamilton was born in Chicago, IL, in 1936. He has a BA in Philosophy and an MA in English/ Education from Roosevelt University. After spending some early years as a teacher and social worker, Mr. Hamilton has devoted his full attention to writing. Having lived many years in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco, Mr. Hamilton now resides in Los Angeles]

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Copyright © 2005, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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