Book Reviews

The Lost Years is one of the most important books on family addiction and recovery that I have come across in years. It allows the readers a rare, simultaneous look into the hearts and minds of both the co-dependent and the addict. Kristina and her mother take us through the suffering, turmoil and destruction of addiction right on through to forgiveness, reconciliation and redemption. This book is invaluable to families, and I am proud to recommend The Lost Years."

John Bradshaw, best-selling author of Healing the Shame That Binds You and Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child, and one of the leading authorities on co-dependency and family recover

This is the most important book I have read this year. I couldn't put it down.”

Anne Lamott, best-selling author of Grace (Eventually), Operating Instructions, Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies, Rosie, All New People, and Blue Shoe

This book touches on both sides of addiction... the side of the addict and that of the enabler. We found the openness and insight very touching and heartwarming. Addiction goes beyond description. You are absolutely helpless. We know. We have been there. The only “cure” is honesty, as this book beautifully demonstrates. Until one is absolutely honest with oneself there is no hope for either the addict or the enabler.”

Cheri and Pat Summerall, former American football player and legendary sportscaster for CBS, Fox, ESPN, and his wife

This is the most extraordinary memoir I have ever read. Kristina and her mother Constance have written a gritty, wrenching, starkly honest and emotionally moving account of addiction and recovery. It is a deeply inspirational story of pain, loss, acceptance and survival. This daughter-mother writing is no-frills, yet beautiful and utterly compelling. The pain of love and loss, fear and letting go is raw. You quickly grow to love these two and to learn what facing yourself at the core really means. The Lost Years is a gift of deep honesty — a handbook for showing up to find yourself and to live responsibly.”

Stephanie Brown, Ph.D., psychologist, clinician, researcher, teacher, consultant and author, specializing in addiction and recovery

This book, about Kristina and her mother's journey, is one of the best books I have read about drug and alcohol addiction and the effects on family. It sends the right message about not giving up on your child and establishes guidelines for tough love and, for the recovering person, perseverance. The Lost Years is a beautiful story full of redemption and forgiveness. It is tough, honest and gritty. This is a powerful and amazing book. I could not put it down.”

Michael Pritchard, PBS host, motivational speaker and child advocate

The Lost Years provides readers a powerful and rigorously honest look into a families struggle against the ruthless adversary of addiction. By sharing both their stories, Kristina and Constance have put together one of the best narratives available for people looking to better understand the profound affects of addiction, codependency and recovery. There is true strength and hope to be found in the pages of this book. I proudly recommend this book to our own staff and the families we feel so honored with which to work.”

Guy Hardcastle, M.A., Director of Operations, Wilderness Quest

This is the book I have been waiting for! This is the Owner's Manual for anyone affected by this family disease. So often family members want someone else to change! Bravo Constance! You sought help, put the focus on yourself, set clear boundaries and clear consequences and your family got well. This book is a gift to all parents in a BIG way. Bravo Kristina! You followed your treatment recommendations and got well too. Your book is now mandatory reading for all the teens and all the parents in my teen drug treatment program as well as my graduate students in Counseling Psychology. I predict very big changes as a result of this book. Thank you!”

Larry Fritzlan, Director — Adolescent Recovery Services

For Speaking Engagements

Kristina Wandzilak is one of the most dynamic speakers to hit the conference circuit related to addiction in years. Her first person account of the struggles of addiction and the family dynamic related to the disease is spellbinding. I have been putting on four national conferences and hundreds of smaller workshops for ten years, and the reviews from my conference attendees for Ms. Wandzilak have been five star ratings. The only other time this happens is when we book a superstar speaker who has been on the circuit for years. I am amazed at her abilities and plan to book her for another conference this year.”

Michael Cartwright, CEO Foundations Associates

I had the privilege and honor of spending the day with Kristina and Constance, from the screening of the new TLC show Addicted to later hearing them speak to 100 people about their book "The Lost Years." Kristina and Constance's story is incredible. Their messages cross many spectrums of self awareness and relationships that is applicable across many aspect of one's life, from the simplest to the most complex, not just addiction. Life does not standstill and even when you think you have experienced it all something new comes about on a regular basis, and it is their openness and engagement that highlights their inspiration to us all.”

David Schwartzberg