Everything I Never Wanted to Be by Dina Kucera is the true story of a family's battle with alcoholism and drug addiction. Dina's grandfather and father were alcoholics. Her grandmother was a pill addict. Dina is an alcoholic and pill addict, and all three of her daughters struggle with alcohol and drug addiction including her youngest daughter, who started using heroin at age fourteen.
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Why I chose this:
I didn't choose this book, so much as it chose me. It showed up at my door one day and I read the back of the book, completely blown away. I knew I was destined to read this story.
To say that this book was a difficult read would be a complete lie. Although the content of Dina Kucera's book can sometimes be a bit rough, it is written so perfectly that I honestly couldn't put it down. She has found the perfect recipe for this memoir. A healthy dose of hope, a pinch of religion, and a heaping helping of humor. Combined, these create an unforgettable journey for the reader.
What struck me most about Everything I Never Wanted to Be was the brutal honesty that is within these pages. Kucera pours her memories onto the page, bearing her soul for the reader. I'll admit that at times it was a bit overwhelming and I was in tears. I kept wondering how one person could go through so much pain and anger in their lifetime. However the one message that kept shining through was hope. No matter what else happens, you have to have that hope or you'll drown under the sadness. I think even those of us who aren't going through supporting an ailing loved one can appreciate this message.
It was the humor in this book that really helped me make it through though. Despite everything that she had been through, Kucera always seemed to find some sort of humor in the smaller things to help her get by. My favorite part was at the very beginning, when she describes a normal day out with her three daughters. As they each bicker and moan in their own illness motivated ways, I had to laugh. It wasn't that it was funny that they were arguing, but more that we all know that happens in life. You just have to appreciate the time together and move on. It was a wake up call to me, reminding me that you can choose to take the good or the bad away with you from any situation. Dina Kucera asks us, why not make an effort to choose the good?
This story is about the wisdom that comes through hardship, about beating the odds when it seems impossible. It is the type of story that has the opportunity to change lives. I can't even put into words what reading this book meant to me. I only hope more people out there, parents especially, take the time to read it.
Title: Everything I Never Wanted to Be
Author: Dina Kucera
Publisher: Dream of Things
Pages: Paperback; 216
Source: Pump Up Your Book Promotions
FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Final Rating:5 Keys to My Heart
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