With a heightened sense of both empathy and fear because of her own struggles with alcoholism, the mental illness of her ex-husband and a mother's reflexive desire to protect her daughters, Stanciu is determined to learn more about the nature of addiction and what each of us can do in our own communites to stem the opioid epidemic and stitch them back together. Why do we recoil from those struggling with addiction rather than reach out?
A stranger, rumored to be a heoin addict, repeatedly breaks into the small-town library Stanciu runs. After she and her board try to get law enforcement to do something about it -- the elementary school children and young parents with babies frequent the place after all -- he commits suicide. Why had she refused to offer him any concern or aid? When she realizes how little she knows about opioid abuse, and how much she fears it, she sets out on a mission, seeking insight from people in recovery, treatment providers, the town police chief, and Vermont's US attorney. She witnesses how tenaciously and often invisibly the threads of addiction tangle into our communities. Unstitched portrays the complexity of interpersonal relationships thrown into relief against the overarching question of what do we owe our neighbors? Stanciu's quest forces her to see her small town, and herself, in unexpected ways. Her page-turning book will enable others to do the same.