John and Erica Mason-Grey are hard-working artists and loving parents—but when John dies, their teenage daughter Mona’s casual drug use spirals into heroin addiction. She and her mother soon begin an anguished game of hide-and-seek leading to countless arguments, arrests, thefts, rehabs, and relapse, a recurring nightmare that seems to have no end. Ultimately, it’s only when each of them finds a way to accept their new reality—Mona by taking charge of her own recovery, and Erica by focusing on her own vitality—that each experiences the unexpected joy and renewal that await those who decide to stop living in the bad dream of addiction. Unflinching about the ways the disease of addiction can torpedo a family yet leavened with dollops of humor, The Bad Dream Notebook will resonate with anyone who has lived through the agony of a loved one’s drug dependency.

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Praise for The Bad Dream Notebook

This novel details a family’s experience with addiction in a way no guidebook can. It captures the rational and irrational fears, the spiral of addiction, and the tension of an ill-timed event. It is a trip through the emotional house of horrors families of an addict must contend with. But Linda Dahl also clearly understands the power of art (a painter in her story–but it could be any art form) to help heal and restore. The conclusion moved this parent to tears. I have to believe that this book is restorative not only for the reader, but also for the author.

Bill Williams, author, educator, and Advocate of the Year for the Addiction Policy Forum 2017

An unexpected ride that honors loss, celebrates renewal and teaches readers love can heal even the nastiest of wounds, The Bad Dream Notebook is one of 2017’s most emotional reading experiences.

Working Mothering

Compelling and insightful, The Bad Dream Notebook, takes readers on a powerful ride on the rollercoaster of addiction. Linda Dahl has brought to the page what so many families live through in the real world each day. For anyone who struggles with addiction, loves someone who does, or simply wants to learn about how addiction impacts families, The Bad Dream Notebook is an engaging and enlightening read that will leave you with a deeper sense of understanding and compassion.

Lisa Smith, author of Girl Walks Out of a Bar