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Lost and Found: A Daughter's Tale of Violence and Redemption Hardcover – September 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Permanent Pr Pub Co (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579620728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579620721
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,877,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

"A strikingly eloquent book about a family murder and its rippling effects. The father, mother and husband ...are drawn with wonderful exactness...

From Kirkus Reviews

A lugubrious memoir by a woman who, through psychoanalysis, came to understand how her self-image had been shaped by childhood yearnings for a normal family life-complete with a strong, protective father and a stable, caring mother. Hughes was only two when her father, a bootlegger, was slain by the Cleveland Mafia. Her mercurial, often hysterical, and frequently bewildered mother (a decidedly unmaternal woman so neglected by her own mother that she was raised in an orphanage) told her that her father had died of pneumonia. While fantasizing that her father was up in heaven keeping an eye on her, Hughes learned to become her own parent, looking after her mother as she longed for her mother to look after her. At 12, her older brother told her the truth about her father's violent death, and newspapers at the public library filled in the sordid details. Anxious to get away from her mother, she got married while still in her teens-to a young man who seemed to offer an escape. Interspersed with chapters about her miserable childhood and her marriage to a domineering husband are her account of sessions with her psychoanalyst: "I ride the analyst's couch and see the murders and my unparented childhood from the safety of that room. . . . I weep for the first time at all my losses." In the long process of analysis, Hughes is able to replace her imaginary father with a realistic assessment of a flawed human being, to forgive her mother for her blighted childhood, to understand what was keeping her in her unhappy marriage, and finally to start a new life.A minor addition to the literature of dysfunctional families and the damage that parents can do to their children's psyches, this woe-is-me tale with an upbeat ending has little to recommend it -- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Babette Hughes, author of The Red Scar, The Hat and Lost and Found, and co-author of Why College Students Fail, is a Huff Post columnist; published in the Saturday Review; been Contributing Editor of Cleveland Magazine; a twice-weekly columnist for the Cleveland Press; and has published articles and book reviews in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Sunday Magazine. She has also written, produced and appeared in television documentaries and news and feature stories for Cleveland television stations WKYC-NBC and WNBK-UHF.

In addition to her writing career she has been been National Director of Women's Political Action for Hubert Humphrey in his 1972 Presidential campaign, as well as founder and President of Discover Yourself, Inc., a motivation and self realization program for women. She has also been Director of Public Relations for Revco D.S., Inc. in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Account Executive with Frazier Associates, in Washington, DC. She and her husband live in Austin, Texas, and are the parents and step-parents of eight children.

She is presently working on the final novel in the Kate Brady series, The Necklace.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Greedy Reader on December 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Hughes has written a compelling book that explores how family history influences us throughout our lives. In her book she not only tells the particular story of her own family, she evokes a time & place in this country when the sons & daughters of immigrants tried to find their place in America. The book tells a colorful story of a small time crook & dandy - one of the foot soldiers in the Cleveland bootlegging rackets. His violent life & death continues to affect the wife & 2 small children he left behind throughout their lives. Hughes manages to convey a child's sense of bewilderment as she tries to piece together just who this father was & what his legacy to her will be.
The book is also the story of Hughes relationship with her mother, a difficult & complex woman who emotionally victimizes her young daughter throughout her childhood. How she is able to break the bonds that tie her to her mother & learns to live a productive & happy life is the real story of this memoir.
This is an interesting read for anyone who's taken the journey through their own family history. Although it's filled with the pain of a lonely & emotionally abandoned child, the woman Hughes becomes is able to triumph in the end.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
The reconstruction of an evidently miserable childhood and equally miserable marriage results in a rather tedious memoir, Lost and Found: A Daughter's Tale of Violence and Redemption.

Adding to the current spate of dysfunctional family tell-alls, Ms. Hughes weaves the story of her life to date by alternating imagination enhanced childhood scenes with psychiatric sessions.

We learn that her father, Lou Rosen, a bootlegger was murdered by the Cleveland Mafia when the author was two. Her mother told her that he had died of pneumonia, but to Ms. Hughes's child's mind he had simply disappeared.

A young widow, 27-years-of-age, her mother "has been a bootlegger's wife long enough to understand the code": no one will harm her if she does not speak. She retreats behind a wall of silence, emerging only in fits and starts - fits of uninhibited vituperation and starts of moving from job to job and apartment to apartment.

A negligent mother at best, she had been so misused by her own mother that she had spent 12 years of her young life in an orphanage. For Ms. Hughes and her older brother Kenny home becomes a series of rooms where they subsisted on Chinese take-out in cardboard boxes and feared that their mother would suffer another asthma attack.

Ms. Hughes pretty much went wherever she pleased and to school whenever she pleased before dropping out of high school to model in local department stores. Eventually she visits the public library and consults old newspapers where she learns the truth about her father's death.

Kenny does not return home after college but for Ms. Hughes there is only one escape from her mother's diatribes and unrelenting possession - marriage.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By paula on November 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a book I couldn't put down. Babette Hughes' story is tragic and devastating, yet redemptive and triumphant. The dichotomy of her relationship with her mother is eloquently depicted; I could just hear and feel her saying, "yes, I love her--no, I don't." It must have taken great courage to overcome her fear and then lay it open for all of us to share. It is the kind of life that should make all of our marginally disfunctional lives seem perfect in comparison. I'm recommending this book for my book group and anyone else I know who reads.
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