‘Monsters in the Shadow: My Life, a True Story’ Reveals the Horrifying Consequences of Drug Addiction in Families

May 12, 2020 What does it mean to be born in the family of a drug addict? Is this a recent phenomenon, and can strong women in the family ensure that damages imparted to the children growing up are minimized? Elizabeth Horvath answers these and more social issues in her revelatory, tell-all autobiography, ‘Monsters in the Shadow: My Life, a True Story’.

Not many today realize the full contributions made by our mothers and grandmothers in creating stable and happy families, the cornerstone for future success. In a story full of remarkable hardship, courage and resilience against all odds, Elizabeth Horvath takes the readers to Hungary in the beginning of the 20th century. 

The novel begins in 1907 with the Fedor family living on a farm in Hungary in the county of Szabolcs in the town of Bashalom near the Russian border. The hardworking family led by the author’s grandparents produces fruits, vegetables and grains to be sold in the nearby city of Debrecen. The author was born in the ghettos of Budapest to Erzsebet and Miklos Toth in 1936, the youngest of four siblings. Her father came from an unhappy, violent family, and takes to drinking early in the marriage. The novel goes on to chart the horrifying tale of domestic abuse, miscarriages and hardship. 

The human spirit will prevail, and the children of addicts will survive. All they have to do is dream, dream past the addicted parent, dream out of a hopeless situation created. The tender souls can dream themselves into productive and happy lives,” says Elizabeth Horvath.

I read it in a single evening. It is hard to imagine what people in Europe had to endure in the 1940’s, and I always feel compelled to read stories such as this that must not be forgotten,” says a reader review.

A product of her dreams, Elizabeth dedicates the book to “the children of addicts, the tender souls who do not know that they are being cheated out of a life and that they are being sacrificed and misled before they know why.”

Excerpt from the book:

“Oh,” she thought, “look, how he is trying to breathe with his tiny mouth wide open. Please, dear God, don’t let him die,” she screamed the words. But there he was, still, unmoving, the afterbirth lying next to him, connected with the cord. As the smell of blood filled the room, she fell back, screaming again; her whole body was shaking, and she was heaving to catch her breath. She cried, “He will pay for this. I will not stay with him now that my son is gone. I will leave him.” She swore to retaliate as she fell into an exhausted sleep.

Monsters in the Shadow: My Life, a True Story’ is available from Amazon.

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