BOOK REVIEW : Even If Your Heart Would Listen by Elise Schiller

I received this to read for free in exchange for participating in the POP-UP Book Tour. Thank you to Book Sparks (#BookSharks) for giving me this opportunity and sending me this book.

Title: Even If Your Heart Would Listen
Author: Elise Schiller
Published by: SparkPress
Publication date: August 27th, 2019
Genres: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, Memoir


In January 2014, Elise Schiller’s youngest child, thirty-three-year-old Giana Natali, died of a heroin overdose while a resident in a treatment program in Boulder County, Colorado. Even if Your Heart Would Listen is about Giana’s life, which was full of accomplishments, and her mental illness, addiction, and death. Using excerpts from the journals, planners, and letters Giana left behind, as well as evidence from her medical records, Schiller dissects her daughter’s treatment for opioid use disorder (OUD) at the five residential and several outpatient programs in eastern Pennsylvania where she tried to recover, taking a close look at the lack of continuity and solid medical foundations in the American substance-use treatment system even as she explores the deeply personal experience of her own loss. 

Poignant and timely, Even if Your Heart Would Listen is a meditation on a family’s grief, an intimate portrayal of a mother-daughter bond that endures, and an examination of how our nation is failing in its struggle with the opioid epidemic.


I struggled reading this book. Not only is this a heartbreaking story, but I found myself relating to Giana in many ways and also Elise in others. This story is not to be taken lightly or brushed aside. This is a mother’s pain; a daughters struggle from a parents point of view. No parent should ever wake up to a phone call that their baby is gone. Let alone gone because of an addiction to drugs.

Elise Schiller not only gives us her and Giana’s story, she also brings awareness to how broken the road to recovery is. Addiction is a disease and shouldn’t be treated as a ‘one size does fits all’ solution.

Whether you know someone struggling from addiction, or you are yourself, I highly recommend everyone to read this book. It is very eye opening to the world of addiction.


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Are you going to give Even If Your Heart Would Listen a read? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

All my love, always



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