More Praise for White Flag
Exceptionally well written
“Exceptionally well written, organized and presented, “White Flag” will have a special affinity for readers with an interest in memoirs and biographies of those who have had to deal with being members of (and recovering from) dysfunctional families. . . unreserved recommended for community and academic library Memoir/Biography collections. . .”
Midwest Book Review
San Diego Jewish World
"It is written with great empathy and soul-searching.”
Donald H. Harrison
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A Riveting Read!
"In White Flags, Judy takes the reader from the family trauma of a fiery plane crash that killed one sister and maimed another, as depicted in her first memoir, Replacement Child, to the myriad ramifications of that tragic event. Focusing on the life and early death of her drug-addicted niece, she intertwines her own grief of the past with her inability to help her sister’s daughter while schooling herself in the world of addiction. An honest, heart-wrenching read!"
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Moving and disturbing and definitely worth reading.
"When Judy Mandell's niece died of an overdose she wanted to understand how such a thing could happen. Being a skilled investigator and communicator, Judy spent years trying to understand the narcotics addiction problem in our country as well as the dynamics of her own family.
The result is a moving book that weaves together emotions and statistics, science and conjecture.
This book will be captivating to anyone who wants to understand the statistics we see in the paper day. And it should be mandatory for anyone who is trying to cope with this type personal grief."
An Amazon Customer
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartrending description of the effects of addiction on the family.
The writing is superb as is the powerful description of the devastation that can happen to families when someone is addicted. The addict lies. We must not forget that. Mandel reminds us that no matter how much we want to believe in our child, our Dad, our grandson, or our niece, we must remember they are lying if they are addicted. Mandel's care for and communication with her imprisoned niece, Cheryl, is admirable for her generosity and persistence.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartbreaking and Powerful
"I never really understood your very private pain, because you never truly let me in. Through it all, though, I felt the force of your life, as I hope you felt from me. Even with you gone, I am left to untangle the threads of our story."
Aunt Judy is eager to see the best in her niece Cheryl, wanting to believe her when she constantly assures her shes done with the life of drug addiction after getting out of prison, shes hoping Cheryl will take this opportunity for a fresh start, but she just couldn't, (Goodreads after this) And as Judy struggles with being powerless to help Cheryl, she discovers that transgenerational trauma and epigenetics may have started this avalanche of pain. She wonders why some people can recover from addiction, and others cannot. Why some are able to raise their white flag of surrender.
My thoughts: Ok so I don't typically read about drug addiction because it's a trigger for me because my father was a drug addict, but seeing as this was a memoir, I knew I had to suck it up and read this important book! And.... I'm so glad I did. Judy's research into how trauma plays such a huge role in being able to conquer drug addiction or not was truly enlightening for me. Reading about Cheryl really broke my heart, and embarking on this gut wrenching story of Judy learning that there's nothing you can do to help an addict until they are ready to help themselves, was so raw and real. As this was something I had learned from a very young age I just wanted to reach in and hug Judy, And even now I want to Thank you so much for everything you have shared, I know it was probably really hard for you to put down in words this emotional experience. But it means the world to someone like me who lost someone who wasn't ready to put up their white flag either.
I give White Flag by Judy L. Mandel ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cheryl was so much more than her addiction
"This is a heartbreaking story about an aunt trying to help her niece out of the grip of addiction. For every action, there is a reaction. The pilot that crashed the plane into their home that tragic day unwittingly set a far-reaching chain reaction. This event altered the face of the Mandel family for generations.
Ms. Mandel takes us with her as she tries to come to an understanding of her niece's addiction. Ms. Mandel illustrates the complexity of addiction with sensitivity shining a light on questions that cannot be answered in this lifetime. Thank you for bringing this story to us. We must do better in helping those with substance use disorder get help."
Mrs. Ilona Goanos
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Heartbreaking Story
"This book tells the story of Judy’s niece, Cheryl, and her fight with addiction. As we read Cheryl’s story, we also learn about Judy’s own struggles in helping Cheryl: her fear, her guilt, her love, her hope. This book is an in depth look at trauma and it’s impact on addiction; how a person may have a genetic disposition to form addictions, but including trauma into the mix can almost ensure some type of destructive behavior. For some, it may be denial or isolation. For others, it can be addictions and/or mental disorders. Judy does a lot of research and shares her findings throughout the text.
This book hit home for me. Several people in my family have dealt with drug addictions. My favorite uncle passed away a few years ago as a result of his drug use. The father of my two youngest children is also an addict and alcoholic currently living on the streets. Years of dealing with his addictions left me rundown, and the process of getting him out of the house to protect my kids and myself from his violence was a very tiring and scary process. Dealing with addiction is a hard existence for the addict and those who love them."
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Callahan’s Books Review
"Aunt Judy figured her niece must have been dead, but she was just in jail.
First things first: standing ovation for a raw, intensely personal memoir that treads shoulder-deep into heartbreaking territory. It’s a brave, emotionally enervating story of infinite love unbowed by realistic expectations. At the same time, it’s not a Pollyannish collection of worn out self-help mantras. There’s real thought in these pages.
The author’s niece Cheryl is a drug addict who finds a direly needed source of support in her aunt.
Trapped in a tilt-a-whirl of addiction Cheryl falls prey to the behaviors and consequences keenly known to those with a monkey on their back: deceit, shame, entanglements with the law.
WHITE FLAG tells the story of this fight to save a bright young woman caught in a devastating spiral of self-destruction. But uniquely it goes further—all the way back to 1952 where the tragic origins of Cheryl’s inner pain might be found.
Written with desperation and love, Mandel’s exploration of generational trauma and inherited behavior is minutely researched and pragmatically valuable. Its true heft comes from its tone of unconditional love; a powerful voice that must tell a story of unconditional sadness."
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Poignant, insightful and spellbinding
"Poignant, insightful and spellbinding, Judy Mandel’s memoir explores her family’s multi-generational trauma—harrowing events, both known and buried—that have caused unimaginable loss, most recently threatening the well-being of her niece Cheryl. Are lives irreparably changed by a grandparent’s or a parent’s personal trauma, or mostly by our own life experiences? Judy’s book delves into these complex questions as she relates her quest to intercede in the downward spiral of a relative she loves."
Learn more about Judy's book, Replacement Child.