I am drawn to the show Intervention on A&E. It sucks me in every time, and I get wrapped up in the addict's story and the emotional effect on his or her family.
Reading Cost, by Roxana Robinson, was like reading a transcript of an episode of this show.
It is the story of a young man with a life-threatening addition to heroin and his family's desperate measures to save him.
Artist and professor Julia Lambert is enjoying the last few weeks of vacation at her summer home in Maine with her aging parents. She is awaiting the arrival of her older son, Steven, who is traveling across the country from Seattle. However, when Steven arrives, having stopped to visit his younger brother in Brooklyn on the way, he brings with him disturbing news...that he believes Jack is a heroin addict.
The family, including the boys' father (and Julia's ex-husband), must rally together to fight for Jack's life. But, is it too late?
Told from each family member's perspective, the book is powerful, gritty, and emotional. I found myself as anxious as the characters themselves, with a knot in my stomach as they struggled not only with Jack's addition, but also the fractured relationships among them.
My favorite part of watching Intervention is the black screen that comes up at the end, updating viewers on where the addict is now (thankfully, it's far more often positive than not). As I neared the end of Cost, I was holding my breath to see what the book's black screen would say.
I highly recommend this book.