When Babette Rosen Hughes was two years old her father disappeared suddenly and mysteriously from her life. Although he had been murdered in a turf war with the mafia, and although her uncle- an innocent bystander was murdered along with him, her mother told her that he died of pneumonia, never acknowledged her uncle's existence, and then remained willfully mute about the murders, about her childhood in a Dickensian orphanage, about her marriage and the secrets of her long widowhood.
So Babette embarked on a search not only for a father she never knew, but for her brilliant elusive mother who turned out to be even more of a mystery. Her memoir describes that quest amid the drama of the times: Prohibition, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression.
Without self-pity, and in eloquence and compassion, she describes the ways in which her parents' secrets affected her life-her childhood spent drifting around Depression Cleveland like smoke, playing hooky from school, fending off sexual predators, spending days riding streetcars, in the library, in the park, in the movies. Of being hustled by her mother out of school and into the modeling life. Of her escape from her demanding, possessive mother into an abusive marriage to a man of wealth. of her bonding in love and insight with her mother during her final illness and death. And finally, of her journey toward self-discovery through psychoanalysis.
LOST & FOUND: A DAUGHTER'S TALE OF VIOLENCE AND REDEMPTION is a story of the struggle to survive and transcend murder, secrets and abandonment. It is a story of a family captured by its own bloody history. But it is ultimately a triumphant tale of Babette's step-by-step passage from an ill-starred and dark destiny to selfhood, freedom and a transported life.