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Shannon's troubled stepdaughter has been missing for two weeks. When Keisha finally calls, Shannon doesn't hesitate to welcome her into her home-despite her husband, John's, misgivings. As a pharmacist, Shannon has always taken an analytical view of Keisha's addiction problems and feels that treating her underlying depression and providing a support system can break the bonds that have taken over her life. When Keisha first begins breaking the rules, Shannon worries John will kick Keisha out and send her back to ...
Shannon's troubled stepdaughter has been missing for two weeks. When Keisha finally calls, Shannon doesn't hesitate to welcome her into her home-despite her husband, John's, misgivings. As a pharmacist, Shannon has always taken an analytical view of Keisha's addiction problems and feels that treating her underlying depression and providing a support system can break the bonds that have taken over her life. When Keisha first begins breaking the rules, Shannon worries John will kick Keisha out and send her back to her druggie friends. Shannon commits to being even more diligent in helping Keisha. As more of her energy goes toward Keisha, a distance emerges between Shannon, her husband, and their twelve-year-old son, Landon. Shannon finds it easy to justify her own behavior as unconditional love, but as Keisha's stumblings become dramatic falls, Shannon realizes this is no longer just about Keisha. Shannon finds herself facing the reality that addiction comes in many forms. Can she shift her perspective from Keisha's future-which was never hers to control-to her own? Can she keep from spiraling into a pattern of obsessive rescuing and find the strength to repair her own fractured relationships before she drives her husband and son away for good?
Keisha, Shannon's 21-year-old step-daughter, hasn't been in contact with anyone for two weeks. As a high school drop out who's been in and out of rehab, Shannon, and Keisha's dad, John, fear for her safety. When Keisha calls in need of a place to stay, Shannon doesn't hesitate to welcome her into their home, despite John's concerns about Keisha's influence on their 12-year-old son, Landon. Certainly what Keisha needs is to be part of a stable home life, something her mother never gave her. Surely that will make all the difference.
Shannon is also struggling on a personal level with the demands put on her to be the main bread winner thanks to John's struggle with work in recent years, and her son's growing independence that asks less and less of her. She's always been more comfortable professionally than socially and her Aunt Ruby's book group only seems to enforce how difficult it is for her to connect with people outside of work and family. While the four months of book group meetings had created friendships between the other women, Shannon's only reason for going is because Aunt Ruby wants her too. Shannon finds in Keisha the perfect distraction to her own insecurities and puts all her concerns about own future into Keisha finding her own.
As a pharmacist, Shannon has an analytical view of Keisha's addiction and came to believe many years ago that Keisha's depression is what leads her to self-medicate with illicit drugs. What she needs to break out of the bondage she's been in is the right anti-depressant, and a support system that won't fail her. While Shannon only sees Keisha's potential, John only sees her failures, making Shannon even more determined to help Keisha prove him wrong.
Almost immediately, Shannon's devotion to Keisha's wellness begins to overshadow her involvement with her son and her husband. When Keisha comes home drunk, breaking John's rule that should result in her being kicked out, Shannon agrees to keep the infraction a secret for fear that the only people who would take Keisha in are the druggie friends who are a big part of Keisha's problems. When other rules broken and other warning signs develop, Shannon covers them up and defends Keisha on every front, each time hoping that this is the last time. As more of Shannon's energy goes toward Keisha, distance develops between her and her husband and son, but it's easy for Shannon to justify her behavior as supporting the potential she still sees in her step-daughter. When Keisha's faltering becomes stumbling falls that include stealing from Aunt Ruby, she still holds on tighter, not wanting her dishonesty to be in vain. It's not just about Keisha anymore, it's about Shannon's own need for acknowledgement, achievement, and self-confidence. Ironically, Tori, from book group, comes to Shannon for help with her concerns that Illana, also a book group number, might have a prescription drug problem of her own.
Too late, Shannon realizes that Keisha has been manipulating her and taking advantage of her determination and Shannon realizes that although she has wanted Keisha's success, that need has become part of Shannon's identity too. She has to face the truth about Keisha's choices and her own decisions to hide keep important things from the man she loves. She also finds that almost without noticing it, she has found friendship among some of the women at book group and as her need to focus on Keisha fades, she finally faces what's kept her at a distance for so long.
In the end, Shannon realizes that addiction comes in many forms and that sometimes helping someone else get well isn't helping them at all. With the love of her husband and son, and the support of her new friends, Shannon shifts her perspective from Keisha's future—that was never hers to control—to her own and begins to contemplate the changes she needs to make to live up to her own potential and find the joy she has somehow lost in her day to day life.
Posted September 11, 2013
This book will bring out a lot of emotions within its readers...
Each one of us knows an addict...it is all around us.
So many pains, so many ways to handle it, and sometime people make a wrong choice....
We must be willing to TALK about it...
Shannon's stepdaughter, Keisha, is an addict and has come to live with Shannon's family.
Shannon desperately wants to help her.
But is she helping or enabling?
The women from the Newport Ladies Book Club help Shannon see some revealing truths about herself and her situation.
I found this book to be very fascinating!
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Posted November 1, 2013
I've enjoyed reading all of the novels in The Newport Ladies Book Club series, and I was excited when I heard that Shannon's Hope had been released. Shannon played a very small role in the other books, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I found her story to be pretty interesting. It didn't suck me in-I could put in down without a problem, but Kilpack's writing ability helped me feel a connection to the characters, and I was interested to see what would happen with Shannon and her family.
I was bothered by all of the dishonesty in the story. I appreciated that it bothered Shannon too, although it was the sort of thing that made me feel a little uncomfortable just waiting for when and how the truth would come out and the repercussions from it.
I liked the message about helping people in our lives, both close loved ones and acquaintances. And, that the best way to help them might not be the way we want to help them.