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The Lost Child: A Mother's Story Hardcover – September 1, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“The Lost Child is a cry for help and a plea for a clear acknowledgment of the toll this drug is taking on our children... [It] will appeal to readers of David Sheff's "Beautiful Boy"… These are books for all parents, no matter what shape they think their children are in. Indeed, these books are for anyone interested in public policy relating to drugs. Why would we choose not to see what's happening all around us? Books like these signal the beginning of awareness. And the beginning of hope that we can do right by our children.” ―New York Times Book Review
“While investigating the life of a Regency-era child artist, British novelist Myerson endures her own son's drug addiction... Though her heart breaks, she resolves to maintain her tough-love stance toward a beloved child, about whom she writes with motherly tenderness.” ―Kirkus
“Lures the reader into its intimate, dark heart … Every parent goes through small losses at each stage of a child's development, and yearns for what has gone. What Myerson evokes exquisitely is the built-in poignancy--which in her case is heightened by the rupture in her previously smooth relationship with this beloved oldest child.” ―Financial Times
“Anyone who reads it will struggle not to be profoundly moved.” ―Independent
“It is impossible not to empathize with the Myersons' parental plight … [The Lost Child] is an aching, empty-nest memoir: a mother mourning for her uncomplicated little children, now grown, whom she could care for, write about without comeback, love--and control.” ―Times
“On the page, Julie spells out her pain in prose that's so pure, so literal and so terribly engrossing it makes you weep.” ―Daily Mirror
“If losing [her son] felt like bereavement, writing about him was keeping him under her roof … [Myerson's] writing is never less than compelling with its lopped lyricism, like someone who has to keep catching their breath … She has tried to write honestly about a nightmarish situation and a subject that never seems to get the attention it deserves.” ―Observer
“It's a mark of almost superhuman doggedness that she managed to get some of this down on paper at all … Painfully honest.” ―Evening Standard
“The Lost Child is devastating in its candor … A serious, writerly, self-critical account of what it means to feel that, despite love and hope and good intentions, you have failed as a parent, and that the child you bore (while still eerily, painfully familiar) is lost to you.” ―Daily Telegraph
Top Customer Reviews
This book may be well written strictly from a technical standpoint, but it fails to offer any meaningful contribution what-so-ever. Just because someone can write about their dysfunctional family life, why do they insist upon it? Baffling. Frankly, there's more than enough of that in the world around us, so unless there is something new, helpful, meaningful, insightful, or of value to contribute, please, don't burden the world with more of it!!
This book offers nothing more than a chronicle of a sadly dysfunctional family, poor parenting, and a brat teenager who is abandoned by his father and enabled by his mother even though she claims to have kicked him out and cut him off financially in the name of tough love. It's like reality TV: freaks and dysfunction for the sake of entertainment and ratings, the more the better. I kept reading hoping it would get better, but no, it doesn't.
Pros: The parts about her son are great.
Cons: This should have been two separate books. One about the girl and one about her son.
"The boy" is not the only subject of the book; she writes about an on-going literary project about Mary Yelloly, who died as a young women in the 1830's and is known today by her watercolor prints of the house she grew up in and the society around her in Regency England. Myerson writes about her "hunt" for a woman dead almost 200 years, a hunt which includes visiting her various homes, meeting many of her direct descendants, and seeing original papers about her life. Mary was one of ten children of a doctor and his wife. Mary and several of her siblings died either in early childhood or in their 20's and 30's, mostly of consumption. So, the term, "lost child" could apply to either Mary or Myerson's son.
Myerson's son has become addicted to "skunk", a particularly virulent form of cannibus.Read more ›
The first story is about a remarkable artist named Mary Yelloly, who died of consumption in 1838, at the age of 21, leaving a collection of some 200 watercolor paintings depicting family life in Regency England in early 19th century. The author saw a fat, leather-bound album with the name Mary Yelloly stamped on the front - a collection of paintings which the artist had started when she was only eight years old, and ended by age 12. The author was intrigued and so impressed with the paintings that she decided to gather information about the artist and her family. During this time her eldest son Jake (referred to throughout the book as "our boy"), aged 17, starts smoking a potent variety of cannabis known as Skunk.
When Ms. Myerson's son gets addicted to smoking cannabis, his descent to hell and the devastation his addiction inflicted on her family forms the second, and much more gripping, dominating and overpowering strand of this astonishing book. There is a vivid description of the circumstances under which Jake impregnates a girl aged 16, and also the termination of the pregnancy: "It's not until I get the call to say it's all over and the girl is fine that I feel it: a surge of dark, dark mourning for what just occurred.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The author, Julie Myerson, is phenomenal. In "The Lost Child, A Mother's Story" , Julie is able to tell us 3 stories at once & have us become totally emerged in each.Published 15 months ago by Kelly McHugh
I did not care for this book. It jumps around between a couple storiesPublished on July 9, 2014 by Kathleen Liden
This is a non-fiction book with three separate strands : an account of Julie Myerson's non-relationship with her father, a history of the Yelloly family, particularly of Mary (a... Read morePublished on January 9, 2013 by The One Who Reads
A very complicated book. It was difficult to read in parts because of both the drama and reality of the situation.
Ms. Myerson is very brave to have shared her story. Read more
The parts of "The Lost Child" about the author's son and family held my interest, but the sections (probably half the book) concerning the author's research on a long-deceased... Read morePublished on December 19, 2009 by Mary Lee M.
This poignant tale of the loss of a child, portrayed by the loss of Mary Yelloly in the 1800s and the story of the son of the author as he falls into the world of drug abuse, was... Read morePublished on December 9, 2009 by Leah
While researching the life of a young woman who died in the mid-1800s at 21 leaving behind a portfolio of watercolors, the author struggles to deal with her oldest child's growing... Read morePublished on December 4, 2009 by Menagerie
The Lost Child is a memoir by Julie Myerson. Myerson recounts the time she spent researching the short life of a young English artist, Mary Yelloly while simultaneously trying to... Read morePublished on October 9, 2009 by librtea