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Crystal Lies    by Melody Carlson order for
Crystal Lies
by Melody Carlson
Order:  USA  Can
WaterBrook Press, 2004 (2004)
* * *   Reviewed by Melissa Parcel

'Drugs are deceptive, and the users aren't the only ones who get taken for a ride.'

Glennis Harmon lived what she thought was a perfect life. Married to a prominent attorney, mother to two fantastic kids, everything was normal and good. But how easily and quickly things can change. Glennis's son, Jacob, a senior in high school, begins to exhibit odd behavior. He stops hanging out with his friends, starts staying out all night and actually goes missing for days at a time. Glennis and her husband Geoffrey discover that he's using drugs. Geoffrey believes that Jacob should get his act together, make better choices, and shape up. But a mother can't just turn her back on her beloved son, can she?

When Geoffrey tells Jacob that he's no longer welcome in the house, Glennis decides to move out and get an apartment. She knows that she's enabling Jacob to continue with his addiction, but she wants to help him. She doesn't want him to live on the streets - or worse. Will Jacob ever see the turmoil he is causing his family and reach out for help? Can Glennis let go and let God take care of Jacob?

This timely and fascinating book tackles a topic most would rather sweep under the carpet. But one can hardly read the newspaper these days without seeing the results of the meth epidemic on families and communities. Crystal Lies gives a human face to the tragedy and the devastating effect it can have on a family. Glennis and Geoffrey are typical parents with whom readers will be able to relate on many levels. Geoffrey knows in his head that the only person who can change Jacob is Jacob himself. But his concern doesn't reach his heart and that fractures their family. Glennis is co-dependent, and is determined to save Jacob until he can do it for himself.

Mothers will be able to identify with Glennis even if they have never had a child with a drug addiction. Melody Carlson is a mother who has been there, and her transparency with her own feelings about having her life turned upside down by an addicted child will touch every reader. The title of the book talks about lies - the lies the drug tells the user, the lies the user tells, and the lies that others tell themselves. The most powerful message is that God is stronger than all of us. He loves our children more than we do, and He can help us through any struggle.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. The subject matter is difficult but timely and has something to teach everyone who reads it, whatever their faith. As Glennis states, 'I remember how I could hold on to my son's hand as we crossed the street when he was young and how he would cling tightly to mine. I never worried that he wouldn't make it to the other side. Now I'm not so sure.' This gripping and relevant book reveals God's power in our weakness.

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