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Susanna's mother gave her a copy of Penthouse when she was a ten-year-old, cocaine when she was 12, and seduced her boyfriend at 14. Sonnenberg recounts "the true calamity of being daughter to this mother." The glory of this memoir is that the author survived her traumatic childhood and somehow navigated her way to a deftly written book capturing her dismantled youth. The daughter of a glamorous, falling-down addict of a mother and a gifted, self-absorbed father, Sonnenberg never falls into the trap of attempting to analyze two people never meant to be parents. Instead, we are allowed to feel the strange and powerful familial currencies running between mother and daughter through the keenly observed writing of Sonnenberg. The writing is razor-sharp and raw, a significant feat considering the untethered early years of this immensely talented writer. --Molly Jay --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Sonnenberg's curse is her beautiful self-centered and crazy mother, who lies continually, does drugs and navigates through the world with sex as her sole point of reference. Her father is cold and distant. Add in abundant family money, and you have the story of a young girl who grows up in a world of privilege, abuse and despicable behavior all around. Readers get a good dose of drug use, foul language, manipulative behaviors, an accounting of Sonnenberg's affair with her high school English teacher and one chapter titled Sex with Everybody. The freelance writer's story is titillating, and her writing is strong and clear, though the power is diluted when she blurs the lines of nonfiction: I have conflated or changed some events and dialogue, and created occasional composites. Readers not bothered by the conceit will likely follow along through the outrageous and nasty operational tactics of Sonnenberg's mother until the story line leads to her redemption. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Enjoyed this memoir that explored the world of loving someone who was bipolar. Very well written and painfully honest. Would recommend.Published 3 months ago by Linda Lou
Didn't dislike it, but didn't love it. I've certainly read similar stories and memoirs. I get it and it doesn't surprise me how things turned out in the end. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Lowly Peon
An interesting voyage into the relationships between aging mothers and grown daughters, and between sisters that have handled childhood trauma in very different ways and are still... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Carrie Zeidman
Though the book started off slow for me by the end of reading it I was glad I had stuck with it. I will say I don't think it is a book I would read more than once, but it is worth... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Aubrey
First of all, let me preface this by saying that I give this 4 stars because I reserve 5-star reviews for masterpieces, and those are few. Read morePublished 17 months ago by wyldwoman
Found this book at a thrift store for a buck. Got my money's worth and then some. Susanna Sonnenberg's memoir, HER LAST DEATH, documents a horrific childhood with a mother who was... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Timothy J. Bazzett
I would never have ordered this book if I had known what it was about. It has a horrible storyline. The idea of a mother behaving that way is appalling.Published 19 months ago by Madeleine
This is such a great read. I read this in a day. I love all the details. Never boring. This author has such great books.Published 20 months ago by Betty Smith