Searching For Normal

the story of a girl gone too soon


Monica Starkman, M.D., shares Meadows’ advice in her Psychology Today blog: “Are You The Parent Of A Depressed Child Or Teenager? One Mother Tells Others What She Wishes She Had Kown”. Posted Jun 07, 2017.


Listen to "Speaking Freely with #SheilaHamilton", KINK radio, 101.9, Portland Oregon: Sunday morning 9/17 at 6 am to hear
Sheila's interview about suicide with Ryan Price, #OregonAFSP and Karen Meadows, Author of "Searching for Normal: The Story of a Girl Gone Too Soon". See more about Shieila at:


Stop by our  booth showcasing the books of five SheWritesPress authors: J.W. Wright—"How to Grow and Addict", Marianne Lile— " Stepmother, Rita Sever—"Supervision Matters",  Laurie Buchanan—"Notes to Self" and Karen Meadow—"Searching for Normal, The Story of a Girl gone too Soon".  Anytime between 10 am and 5 pm on July 29, 2017! 

2017 NW Book Festival

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Portland, OR


May 10, 2017m 6 pm: Save the Date!

Join us in Madison on May 10th, 6 pm at A Room of One's Own. Authors Karen Meadows (Searching for Normal: The Story of a Girl Gone too Soon) and Iris Waichler (Role Reversal, How to Take Care of Yourself and Your Aging Parents, 2016) will read from their memoirs and have a Q&A session. 

A Room of One's Own
315 W Gorham St.
Madison, WI  53703


May 12, 2017, 7PM: Save the date!

Join us in Portland on May 12th at 7 PM at Another Read Through for Motherly Love Motherhood. There is no role more complex. Whether it's risking life to create one through invitro-fertilization-gone-wrong, inheriting the children of another mother, traversing the globe to recover abducted daughters, or battling a child's serious mental illness,  motherhood both changes and unites us. Join memoirists Nadine Kenney-Johnstone,Marianne Lile, Lizbeth Meredith, and Karen Meadows the Friday before Mother's Day for a reading and facilitated panel at Another read Through.They'll read from their memoirs and have a facilitated panel discussion before signing. Let's make this Mother's Day unforgettable.

Another Read Through
3932 Mississippi Street
Portland, Oregon  97227

Book Clubs

Karen is available to participate in local book club discussions of Searching for Normal. Contact Karen via the contact page for further information. Book discussion topics are included below:

  1. Discuss the book structure and Karen Meadow’s writing style. How does she convey the story— with comedy, confession, sadness, etc? Was a chronological structure effective? Did the approach of starting the story with Sadie’s early years work?

  2. How did you experience the book? Did Karen draw you in and keep you engaged—if so how? Immediately or slowly over time? Were there parts of the book where you lost engagement?

  3. Does the inclusion of chapters describing Sadie's early years impact how you viewed Sadie when she was cutting, running away, or living on the street? If so, in what way?

  4. Do issues of mental health affect your life personally, or the life of a friend or family member? Which passages of Searching for Normal were the most familiar? The most unexpected?

  5. Describe the personality traits, motivations, and inner qualities of Sadie and her parents. How did the dynamics between Sadie and her family change most over time?

  6. What main ideas does the author explore? Does Karen offer solutions to the questions she raises? If not, what are some of the solutions you have considered?

  7. Do you think parent's should check their teen's social media sites and personal journals?

  8. Which passages were the most memorable or profound for you? Consider reading these passages aloud, and invite others to comment on their reaction to these passages.

  9. If you could ask Karen a question, what would you ask?

  10. What is Karen directly criticizing in American culture?

  11. What have you learned from reading this book? Has it changed your perspective about the prevalence and personal and societal cost of mental illness? The state of our nation's mental health system? How the negative stigma has impacted the treatment for those struggling and the amount of money spent on mental health research compared to the amount spent on cancer or heart disease?

  12. How did the book make you think differently about people that are struggling with mental health illnesses? The homeless? The incarcerated?

  13. Which organizations mentioned by Karen do you want to know more about?

  14. Does this book motivate you to personally to make a difference in fighting the stigmas against mental health illnesses in America? If yes, in what way?