A House on Stilts (Paperback)

Mothering in the Age of Opioid Addiction

By Paula Becker

University Of Iowa Press, 9781609386597, 176pp.

Publication Date: September 15, 2019

List Price: 18.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A House on Stilts tells the story of one woman’s struggle to reclaim wholeness while mothering a son addicted to opioids. Paula Becker’s son Hunter was raised in a safe, nurturing home by his writer/historian mom and his physician father. He was a bright, curious child. And yet, addiction found him.

More than 2.5 million Americans are addicted to opioids, some half-million of these to heroin. For many of them, their drug addiction leads to lives of demoralization, homelessness, and constant peril. For parents, a child’s addiction upends family life, catapulting them onto a path no longer prescribed by Dr. Spock, but by Dante’s Inferno. Within this ten-year crucible, Paula is transformed by an excruciating, inescapable truth: the difference between what she can do and what she cannot do.

About the Author

Paula Becker is the author of Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, The Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I, and coauthor of The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Its Legacy. She lives in Seattle, Washington.