Lara Love Hardin was an unlikely drug addict. A married suburban mother raising children in a blended family, she had a beautiful home and a business. But an addict she was. Nothing, not even the horror of losing her children, could stop her from chasing that next high. (“𝘐 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘸 𝘮𝘺𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘪𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘢 𝘣𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘰𝘺𝘴. 𝘐 𝘸𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳𝘴, 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥𝘯’𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘱 𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘥𝘳𝘶𝘨𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮. 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘸𝘰 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘴.”)
This book is a mesmerizing and unflinching look at the illness of drug addiction and how it permeates our society. I simply could not put this book down. My heart ached for Lara and her children as they entered the criminal court and family court system in our country, which is in need of serious reform. Even when Lara inevitably slid back into using again, I was oddly uplifted by her struggle and the dignity with which she carried herself.
I don’t know how Lara survived jail but she did. (“𝘑𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘴 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘵𝘩𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘚𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 1950𝘴. 𝘛𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘐 𝘥𝘰𝘯’𝘵 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸. 𝘈 𝘴𝘺𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘮 𝘐 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘯𝘥. 𝘈 𝘩𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘐 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥. 𝘈 𝘱𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘤𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘴𝘭𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘦𝘪n𝘨 𝘫𝘶𝘮𝘱𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘨𝘢𝘯𝘨.”)
Told with darkly funny prose, you can’t help but be in awe of how she survived the nightmare of this season in her life.
And once she was finally released and put on probation, that became a whole other set of insurmountable challenges to face. Our probation system is basically set up for people to fail, and I was so relieved when Lara was finally able to get a job and be reunited with her children.
This book is a must-read for everyone to understand how woman are treated in our criminal justice system and to understand the true liberation of forgiveness. 5 stars!
(𝘐 𝘳𝘦𝘤𝘦𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘢 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘤𝘰𝘱𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘰𝘸𝘯.)
About the Book:
New York Times bestselling author Lara Love Hardin recounts her slide from soccer mom to opioid addict to jailhouse shot-caller and her unlikely comeback as a highly successful ghostwriter in this harrowing, hilarious, no-holds-barred memoir.
No one expects the police to knock on the million-dollar, two-story home of the perfect cul-de-sac housewife. But soccer mom Lara Love Hardin has been hiding a shady she is funding her heroin addiction by stealing her neighbors’ credit cards.
Lara is convicted of thirty-two felonies and becomes inmate S32179. She learns that jail is a class system with a power structure that is somewhere between an adolescent sleepover party and Lord of the Flies . Furniture is made from tampon boxes and Snickers bars are currency. But Lara quickly finds the rules and brings love and healing to her fellow inmates as she climbs the social ladder to become the “shot caller,” showing that jailhouse politics aren’t that different from the PTA meetings she used to attend.
When she’s released, she reinvents herself as a ghostwriter. Now, she’s legally co-opting other people’s identities and getting to meet Oprah, meditate with The Dalai Lama, and have dinner with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. But the shadow of her past follows her. Shame is a poison worse than heroin—there is no way to detox. Lara must learn how to forgive herself and others, navigate life as a felon on probation, prove to herself that she is more good than bad, and much more.
The Many Lives of Mama Love is a heartbreaking and tender journey from shame to redemption, despite a system that makes it almost impossible for us to move beyond the worst thing we have ever done.