And every week, there was the unspoken question, the one I didn’t know enough to ask myself : Have you found her yet? The one who reminds you of you?
Twenty years after she lived at a homeless shelter for teens, Janice Erlbaum went back to volunteer. Now thirty-four years old and a successful writer, she’d changed her life for the better; now she wanted to help someone else–someone like the girl she’d once been.
Then she met Sam. A brilliant nineteen-year-old junkie savant, the product of a horrifically abusive home, Sam had been surviving alone on the streets since she was twelve and was now struggling for sobriety against the adverse health effects of long-term drug abuse.
Soon Janice found herself caring deeply for Sam, following her through detoxes and psych wards, halfway houses and hospitals, becoming ever more manically driven to save her from the sickness and sadness leftover from Sam’s terrible past. But just as Janice was on the verge of becoming the girl’s legal guardian, she made a shocking discovery: Sam was sicker than anyone knew, in ways nobody could have imagined.
Written with startling candor and immediacy, Have You Found Her is the story of one woman’s quest to save a girl’s life–and the hard truths she learns about herself along the way.
“A rich and compelling account . . . Ultimately this is a book about the narrator’s journey and the dangers that attend the urge within us all to believe we can save another soul. A terrific read.”
–Cammie McGovern, author of Eye Contact
About the Author
Janice Erlbaum is the author of two memoirs, Girlbomb: A Halfway Homeless Memoir (Villard/Random House, 2006), and Have You Found Her (Villard/Random House, 2008). She lives with her husband in her native New York City, where she teaches writing. She can be found at www.girlbomb.com.