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Under Our Roof: A Son's Battle for Recovery, a Mother's Battle for Her Son

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A congresswoman and her son reveal how he survived a ten-year battle with opioid abuse--and what their family's journey to recovery can teach us about finding hope amid the unspeakable. "Beautiful and inspiring."--Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper (Book of the Week) When Madeleine Dean discovered that her son Harry was stealing from the family to feed a painkiller addiction, she A congresswoman and her son reveal how he survived a ten-year battle with opioid abuse--and what their family's journey to recovery can teach us about finding hope amid the unspeakable. "Beautiful and inspiring."--Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper (Book of the Week) When Madeleine Dean discovered that her son Harry was stealing from the family to feed a painkiller addiction, she was days away from taking the biggest risk of her life: running for statewide office in Pennsylvania. For years, she had sensed something was wrong. Harry was losing weight and losing friends. He had lost the brightness in his eyes and voice, changing from a young boy with boundless enthusiasm to a shadow of himself, chasing something she could not see. Now her worst fears had come to light. Under Our Roof is the story of a national crisis suffered in the intimacy of so many homes, told with incredible candor through the dual perspectives of a mother rising in politics and a son living a double life, afraid of what might happen if his secret is exposed. In this honest, bracing, yet ultimately uplifting memoir, they discuss the patterns of a family dealing with an unspoken disease, the fear that keeps addicts hiding in shame, and the moments of honesty, faith, and personal insight that led to Harry's recovery. In a country searching for answers to the devastating effects of opioids and drug abuse, Under Our Roof is a ray of hope in the darkness. It is not only a love story between mother and son but also an honest account of a pressing national crisis by a family poised to make a difference.


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A congresswoman and her son reveal how he survived a ten-year battle with opioid abuse--and what their family's journey to recovery can teach us about finding hope amid the unspeakable. "Beautiful and inspiring."--Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper (Book of the Week) When Madeleine Dean discovered that her son Harry was stealing from the family to feed a painkiller addiction, she A congresswoman and her son reveal how he survived a ten-year battle with opioid abuse--and what their family's journey to recovery can teach us about finding hope amid the unspeakable. "Beautiful and inspiring."--Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper (Book of the Week) When Madeleine Dean discovered that her son Harry was stealing from the family to feed a painkiller addiction, she was days away from taking the biggest risk of her life: running for statewide office in Pennsylvania. For years, she had sensed something was wrong. Harry was losing weight and losing friends. He had lost the brightness in his eyes and voice, changing from a young boy with boundless enthusiasm to a shadow of himself, chasing something she could not see. Now her worst fears had come to light. Under Our Roof is the story of a national crisis suffered in the intimacy of so many homes, told with incredible candor through the dual perspectives of a mother rising in politics and a son living a double life, afraid of what might happen if his secret is exposed. In this honest, bracing, yet ultimately uplifting memoir, they discuss the patterns of a family dealing with an unspoken disease, the fear that keeps addicts hiding in shame, and the moments of honesty, faith, and personal insight that led to Harry's recovery. In a country searching for answers to the devastating effects of opioids and drug abuse, Under Our Roof is a ray of hope in the darkness. It is not only a love story between mother and son but also an honest account of a pressing national crisis by a family poised to make a difference.

30 review for Under Our Roof: A Son's Battle for Recovery, a Mother's Battle for Her Son

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kelly Parker

    The premise was promising - a mother and son writing alternating chapters detailing their family’s struggle with his opioid addiction - but the execution wasn’t great. Both of the authors’ writing styles seemed amateurish and flat, and the mother spent way too much time writing about her political career. If anyone is interested in reading parallel accounts of how addiction in the family, I would steer them instead to Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, which was excellent, and Tweak by Nic Sheff, whi The premise was promising - a mother and son writing alternating chapters detailing their family’s struggle with his opioid addiction - but the execution wasn’t great. Both of the authors’ writing styles seemed amateurish and flat, and the mother spent way too much time writing about her political career. If anyone is interested in reading parallel accounts of how addiction in the family, I would steer them instead to Beautiful Boy by David Sheff, which was excellent, and Tweak by Nic Sheff, which was not as good, but still worth the read. Thanks to #netgalley and #convergentbooks for this ARC of #underourroof in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Diane Yannick

    This memoir written by a mom and her son was engaging. Harry’s 10 year battle with opioids took a huge toll on his family. Madeline Dean, one of PA’s congresswomen, did not worry too much about her public image, allowing us to see times when she was less than helpful . Although she seemed to be very honest about their dual trajectory, I did think that she included a few too many details about her political climb. What interested me most was Harry’s battle and how it impacted his family. Her poli This memoir written by a mom and her son was engaging. Harry’s 10 year battle with opioids took a huge toll on his family. Madeline Dean, one of PA’s congresswomen, did not worry too much about her public image, allowing us to see times when she was less than helpful . Although she seemed to be very honest about their dual trajectory, I did think that she included a few too many details about her political climb. What interested me most was Harry’s battle and how it impacted his family. Her political career, not so much. Addiction is a hard path to walk. Harry was lucky to be part of a supportive, affluent family. Most can not afford a top-notch rehab like Caron. Harry did recognize his privilege and is devoting much of his life to helping others.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jackie Lantern

    One of those awful politicians who has a junkie immediately family member, who also uses her political power to make prescription opioids more difficult for pain patients with a genuine need to obtain. Congrats on valuing junkies over normal people! Your kid, who abused drugs illegally, lived — many pain patients have been lost to suicide because they could not obtain formerly accessible medicine that mitigated their agonizing pain and gave them functional lives. Allowing a patient to be in excr One of those awful politicians who has a junkie immediately family member, who also uses her political power to make prescription opioids more difficult for pain patients with a genuine need to obtain. Congrats on valuing junkies over normal people! Your kid, who abused drugs illegally, lived — many pain patients have been lost to suicide because they could not obtain formerly accessible medicine that mitigated their agonizing pain and gave them functional lives. Allowing a patient to be in excruciating pain when medicines exist to stop it is cruel and inhumane torture. You wouldn’t treat an animal like that, so why a fellow American?

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This is an absolutely incredible true story of the horrors of drug abuse and the life changing power of a mother's love. Madeleine Dean and her son, Harry Cunnane alternate throughout the chapters with their recollections of Harry's addiction and recovery, and Madeleine's political victories. I read this book in record time - so compelling! The book ends on a delightful upnote, and I'm uplifted by all that they shared in the book. As a mom who lost her adult son to opioids, I was moved to get to This is an absolutely incredible true story of the horrors of drug abuse and the life changing power of a mother's love. Madeleine Dean and her son, Harry Cunnane alternate throughout the chapters with their recollections of Harry's addiction and recovery, and Madeleine's political victories. I read this book in record time - so compelling! The book ends on a delightful upnote, and I'm uplifted by all that they shared in the book. As a mom who lost her adult son to opioids, I was moved to get to experience the success of a young man as he travelled through his recovery journey. Thank you, NetGalley, for allowing me to read this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Solo Mento

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Read it

  6. 5 out of 5

    Riker

    Madeline Dean and Harry Cunnane helped me understand more about addiction and held my attention ceaselessly because they wrote with unbelievable honesty, insight and detail. I highly recommend this book!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helen Dunn

    Madeline Dean is my Congressional Representative and I like her so I bought the book. Quick read. It worked for me because I am familiar with most people in the book, her career and all the locations mentioned.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kim Fox

    Under Our Roof by Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane had so much promise as a book. Two different points of view on how drug addiction affects not only the addict but family members as well. However, a lot of the book was centered on Madeleine Dean's political career and frankly that was very off putting. Thank you to Convergent Books and Netgalley for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. Under Our Roof by Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane had so much promise as a book. Two different points of view on how drug addiction affects not only the addict but family members as well. However, a lot of the book was centered on Madeleine Dean's political career and frankly that was very off putting. Thank you to Convergent Books and Netgalley for the eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Nagrodski

    "Under Our Roof" gives a very honest look at drug addiction and its terrible impact on families. While I really admire the honesty of both Madeline Dean and Harry Cunnane; and while reading their different perspectives really added to the story; I have to admit that the book could have done without do much information on Madeline's incredible political career. I feel like her political journey could be a completely separate (and very interesting) story - but it really only took away from this sp "Under Our Roof" gives a very honest look at drug addiction and its terrible impact on families. While I really admire the honesty of both Madeline Dean and Harry Cunnane; and while reading their different perspectives really added to the story; I have to admit that the book could have done without do much information on Madeline's incredible political career. I feel like her political journey could be a completely separate (and very interesting) story - but it really only took away from this specific book's main message. Nevertheless, I really really enjoyed this book - and think it's very very valuable reading for everyone. Thank you to Netgalley; the publisher; and the authors for giving me the chance to learn from this story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Odette Lattimer

    Thank you for the advanced copy. I know this is now a common story in many households across the world. This was well written and I found it to be a powerful memoir, maybe not an easy read for some.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Zibby Owens

    This book is about a congresswoman and her son who survive a ten-year battle with opioids—and their family’s journey to recovery. From the first page of this book, I pushed everything aside to read this without any interruption. It was such an intense, edge-of-my-seat kind of writing. I love how Harry and Madeleine go back and forth. I can see both of their pain. And I felt for Madeleine because any time a child is in pain in any way, it's unbearable for the parent to watch. One passage that stuc This book is about a congresswoman and her son who survive a ten-year battle with opioids—and their family’s journey to recovery. From the first page of this book, I pushed everything aside to read this without any interruption. It was such an intense, edge-of-my-seat kind of writing. I love how Harry and Madeleine go back and forth. I can see both of their pain. And I felt for Madeleine because any time a child is in pain in any way, it's unbearable for the parent to watch. One passage that stuck out to me was when Madeleine's mom was stuck across the country taking care of a child when she wanted to be home when her husband passed away. She said, "Maybe it was meant to be that I wasn't there. If I had been there, I would've taken too much of his time. Instead, he got to spend more time with all of you." That selfless comment really stuck with me. And Harry did an excellent job talking about his addiction in the book, his desire to stop at many times, and yet the complete inability to do so, especially when his girlfriend gets pregnant. I felt the struggle. There was a lovely quote at the beginning that alluded to the extent that addiction affects the whole family, how it brings the entire family down. It's not just about the one person. It's about the whole system. "When one spins out of control, the whole mobile tries to compensate." To listen to my interview with the authors, go to my podcast at: https://zibbyowens.com/transcript/mad...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vicky

    Opioid addiction can destroy a family if one is not prepared for the long haul and seeing the signs and admitting your child has a issue. Madeline Dean is a strong independent wife, mother and wanting to represent her family, friends, and the people of Pennsylvania for a State office. She has missed the signs or some just don’t see them for what they truly are until it’s almost to late or to late. Harry has been able to hide his addiction for years, but one day it comes down crashing. It is so s Opioid addiction can destroy a family if one is not prepared for the long haul and seeing the signs and admitting your child has a issue. Madeline Dean is a strong independent wife, mother and wanting to represent her family, friends, and the people of Pennsylvania for a State office. She has missed the signs or some just don’t see them for what they truly are until it’s almost to late or to late. Harry has been able to hide his addiction for years, but one day it comes down crashing. It is so sad how long he has went through this turmoil on his own and inside he is placing the blame on everyone,but himself. This book is truly one that has touched me because I have a cousin who died from a overdose and two others that are currently battling addiction,but are not admitting that they have a problem. It is sad to see them going through this struggle and the enabling of people who think they are helping. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who has either went through this or knows someone going through it or just for informational purposes. I think it was told with love, honesty, and I am so glad it has turned out for them as welll as it has. It doesn’t always as Harry has mentioned about several friends who lost their lives to the addiction. I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Carole

    I have to admit I am biased, having grown up in Jenkintown a few years before these folks entered the world -- so everything felt very familiar. I think highly of Madeleine Dean after seeing her interviewed on cable news on many occasions, and when I saw that she and her son had been through this difficulty together, and co-written a book about it, I knew it would be interesting. I knew our political views were similar. I was only a bit put off by her devotion to the Church, but it was understand I have to admit I am biased, having grown up in Jenkintown a few years before these folks entered the world -- so everything felt very familiar. I think highly of Madeleine Dean after seeing her interviewed on cable news on many occasions, and when I saw that she and her son had been through this difficulty together, and co-written a book about it, I knew it would be interesting. I knew our political views were similar. I was only a bit put off by her devotion to the Church, but it was understandable considering her uncle Wally -- and I grew up with a lot of 'girls' who attended church every Sunday and just sort of grew old on the periphery of religiousity. But as for this reading, I could picture almost everything that happened because all of the locations were familiar to me from growing up there. The book felt pretty honest considering it was written by an addict and a politician/lawyer -- I thought there was a lot of soul-bearing in there. The writing made the book an easy read about this difficult subject. My own familiarity with addiction/alcoholism said these people showed a lot of courage in telling their story. Thank you to them.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    What a great read. I like the two different POVs from the addict (the son) and his mother. Its always so fascinating, to me , hearing two points of view of the same situation being so different. This book is hard hitting while still, at times, feeling as though some of the stories were sanitized - which is the one fault i will give this story. Also, the parts where Madeleine talks about her political aspirations does drag the book down a bit. I wanted to scream "I don't care, there are bigger thi What a great read. I like the two different POVs from the addict (the son) and his mother. Its always so fascinating, to me , hearing two points of view of the same situation being so different. This book is hard hitting while still, at times, feeling as though some of the stories were sanitized - which is the one fault i will give this story. Also, the parts where Madeleine talks about her political aspirations does drag the book down a bit. I wanted to scream "I don't care, there are bigger things going on here". There are two parts to this - using and recovery and both are compelling. The writing is down to earth and scary and some of the situations Harry puts himself in are absolutely frightening, but it still felt to me as though a good chunk was glossed over. Nonetheless this is a book that needs to be read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. First I will start out being emotionally honest and transparent, sharing that I am a mother of a son who has SUD, and has struggled deeply in and out of recovery, as is the norm. I so appreciated Harry’s writing and integrity, however, I did not feel the book flowed between he and his mother who seemed to stay in a state of denial and write more about her political career and religious views. Madeleine did not seem real in her suffering as a mother of an addict; she deflected. I wanted a book to First I will start out being emotionally honest and transparent, sharing that I am a mother of a son who has SUD, and has struggled deeply in and out of recovery, as is the norm. I so appreciated Harry’s writing and integrity, however, I did not feel the book flowed between he and his mother who seemed to stay in a state of denial and write more about her political career and religious views. Madeleine did not seem real in her suffering as a mother of an addict; she deflected. I wanted a book to devour as a mother, however, “Beautiful Boy” is much more relatable and powerful.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer S

    This is the story of one addict's spiral downward and recovery as told by both the addict (Harry) and his mother (Madeleine). At the time of Harry's addiction and treatment, Madeleine was beginning her political career, which currently has her in the US House representing her home district in PA. Very powerful back-and-forth showing each step of the journey from both points of view. Would make an excellent audiobook with 2 narrators. This is the story of one addict's spiral downward and recovery as told by both the addict (Harry) and his mother (Madeleine). At the time of Harry's addiction and treatment, Madeleine was beginning her political career, which currently has her in the US House representing her home district in PA. Very powerful back-and-forth showing each step of the journey from both points of view. Would make an excellent audiobook with 2 narrators.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Angela Randall

    I loved reading it

  18. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Johnson (Jameson)

    A really touching memoir.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne Trinkle

    This is an excellent book about opioid addiction. It examines the joy of recovery as well. It’s very honest and well written.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Caitlin

    3.5

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anita M. Johnson

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dottie

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna Page

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jason Pudleiner

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sunita Kumar

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  27. 4 out of 5

    Liz Almerini

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ernest W Glover

  30. 5 out of 5

    louise Jeffery

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