Cover Image: Under Our Roof

Under Our Roof

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Member Reviews

Under Our Roof // by Madeleine Dean and Harry Cunnane

I had a bit of mixed feelings about this book, which brought me to a rating of 3.5 that I rounded up to 4 in the end. I love the idea of both a mother and her son telling their sides of their drug addiction story. Most of the memoirs I read are written by a support person and/or family member of the addict, which is fine, but having both sides has the potential for so much more insight into both sides of the struggle. I liked the way their chapters alternated regularly, none ever taken a really long time before allowing us to see the other side of the situation again. Both authors had a distinct narration style and I especially liked how the feeling of Harry's narration changed as he moved towards and through recovery.

I did really struggle though with Dean's side of the story. I am glad that she was honest and told us about her actions and feelings as she did but it was so hard to read at times as she is someone that I really would've struggled with myself. I constantly found myself wanting to argue with her about the way she was interacting with her son before he agreed to treatment. It was very off-putting and honestly surprised me as I don't usually take that so personal. It's not my story after all and it's not like I know her in person. I was surprised by my own reaction to it. I also felt that her political career took up too much space in the book for me. I just read through the blurb again and I just did not get the feeling that this would have such a big focus on that part of her life. I can see how it intertwined with Harry and it was really nice to see them come together for it in the end, but it did take away from what I thought was going to be the focus in the first two thirds of the book.

Thank you for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Thanks #netgallery for the read. I enjoyed this book and the two family members perspectives. Thank you to this family for sharing their story.
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Congresswoman Madeleine Dean and her middle son Harry share their family's story of drug abuse recovery and healing. Mad reveals that addiction coursed through her Irish Catholic family tree, but her parents guarded her from it. Harry learned how to hide in plain sight, which made it easy to hide his drug use. 
This book discusses Mad's suspicions of her son's addiction and how she avoided the truth. Meanwhile, Harry shares the story of his 10-year addiction and how he came to use drugs in the first place. He also outlines his recovery journey with its struggles and triumphs, and his mom shares her worries, fears and hopes.
This family has tremendous resources and support during the process. They share their gratitude for their privilege, which included Harry escaping arrest multiple times and being able to attend an expensive rehab for 120 days. But getting clean is possible for everyone. This story can provide hope for struggling families.
Some of my favorite quotes:
Mad to Harry as he entered rehab: "Addiction has tried to bury your gifts. Don't let that happen."
Harry's insight during recovery: "Staying clean was an all-or-nothing affair."
About praying out loud: "Speaking creates brain furrows in a way that can literally change the chemistry of one's mind. Seeking help through prayer goes deeper than any God we can understand. You don't need to believe it in order for it to work."
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An unflinching look at the brutal realities of addiction, told in a call and response format. Reading a mother's story alongside a son's helps us to reimagine and rethink the spell addiction holds.
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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.
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I have to admit that I read this due to my admiration of my Representative.  Madeleine Dean is a rising political figure and this book captures the private battle her family was fighting when she decided to run for office.  The alternating chapters between her and her son gave insight into what both of them were experiencing during this time.  The unwavering love and support that Madeleine has for her son is evident and addiction and stealing from family is unfortunately something that many families are dealing with.
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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.
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A very real and honest memoir by mother and son. Addiction is a very serious problem in out society today but is still seen as a taboo or something to be kept a secret, something that someone should be embarrassed about. Anyone can fall victim to addiction, whether you're rich, poor, old, young and it's important to be talked about. It is a tough subject for some people to read about, so read with caution if it's something you're sensitive towards.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this.
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Mad and Harry take turns telling the story of Harry's journey through addiction.  Sometimes it is hard not to judge others.  Did his parents do too much or too little?  How did they miss so much.  It was eye opening to follow Harry through rehab.  Seeing lives lost.  Realizing that recovery never ends.  It is a daily occurence.  The Dean/Cunnane are a privileged family.  Addiction is a disease that doesn't happen to just poor or uneducated people.  The book shows a real view of families in denial.  Not my child.  Definitely a great book to read. Keep moving forward, Harry!   Thank you,Netgalley for this opportunity to read this.
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Wow, this was such a good book, if you can that about a book dealing with such trauma.

The authors have been incredibly honest about their stories and I always admire people who can talk honestly and openly about their addictions and what it does to everyone around them.

I especially liked the different points of view of Madeleine and Harry - it is amazig to see how the same situation can be viewed so differently by the person suffering and by the person who loves the addict.

Extremely well written, I practically read it in one sitting, although I did take breaks because the subject matter is so hard.

Love, love this book.
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A powerful memoir that alternates between Congresswoman Madeline Dean of Pennsylvania and her son Harry as they chronicle their diverse paths. This one will haunt me. Not always easy to watch Madeline's chase for political office while Harry descends into opioid addiction. It took a brave family to publicly share their stories.
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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.
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"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.
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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.
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Congresswoman Madeline Dean of Pennsylvania and her son Harry chronicle their parallel lives in alternating narratives.  We see Mad's interest in running for political office and then her rise as a politician as we see Harry's descent into opioid addiction. As she takes several tries to become politically successful, he takes several tries to become sober. Articulate writing.
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