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Augusta, Gone: A True Story Paperback – April 2, 2002
This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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Parents are advised to approach this wrenching memoir with caution--it will evoke all their worst fears. It's not just that Martha Tod Dudman frankly delineates her daughter Augusta's descent into drinking, smoking, drug use, and truancy, as well as casually lying about all of it. Dudman also acknowledges her own feelings of isolation, despair, and incredible guilt. Has she caused Augusta's behavior? Is it because she divorced Augusta's father? Did she spend too many hours working at her family-owned radio network? Is Augusta mimicking Dudman's own troubled teen years, when she got thrown out of high school for smoking pot? There aren't any easy answers, merely an agonizing litany of fears realized as Augusta comes and goes in her mother's house, vanishing for days at a time, moods ranging from manipulative to sullen to openly defiant, until things get so bad that Dudman enrolls her first in a wilderness program, then in a school program for troubled kids. Nothing miraculous happens, only more ugly confrontations, until Augusta finally runs away. Through the turmoil, however, we can see the troubled girl slowly and painfully turning a corner. Dudman's plain, punchy prose perfectly conveys the terror of a parent watching her child's life, along with her own, careen off the tracks, yet she also captures the charm and vitality of her "impossible, enraging, engaging, infuriating" daughter. As upsetting as this narrative often gets, there's always a trace of hope that Augusta and her family will pull through. --Wendy Smith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
"It's like sticking my hand into the garbage disposal," writes Dudman in this poetic, painfully frank memoir about being a mom to a teenage daughter who lies, runs away and uses drugs. Her story of Augusta's descent into teen hell, and her own attempts to keep her safe, will be welcomed by parents unnerved by the current media focus on risky teen behavior and the sudden deluge of books on the topic, including Adair Lara's similar mother-daughter tale, Hold Me Close, Let Me Go (Forecasts, Dec. 11, 2000), and therapist Ron Taffel and Melinda Blau's The Second Family (see review above). Like Lara, Dudman refuses to give up on her daughter despite tears that "jump out of my face like gravel" and her daughter's stealing from her, screaming at her and lying. In her attempt to describe everything that happened, Dudman acknowledges "this is how it was and it was nothing like this," as she captures the desperation that led her to call the cops on her daughter, and then with her ex-husband to send Augusta to a wilderness camp in Idaho--where Augusta attempted to kill herself--and to a clean-teen school in Oregon. Through it all, Dudman kept working at a high-powered job, cared for her teenage son, Jack, 16 months younger than Augusta, and walked to maintain her own sanity. Dudman, who was also wild when she was young, has no idea looking back how either she or her daughter found their way home, but her story proves that even the most difficult childhoods may end safely. Agent, Betsy Lerner. (Mar. 8) Forecast: Supported by a 10-city tour that will be crowned by an appearance on the Today Show, Dudman's memoir will strike a chord with readers who may not relate to the more unconventional family arrangement in San Francisco Chronicle columnist Adair Lara's Hold Me Close, Let Me Go.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I don't understand why some people have to criticize others who are trying to deal with a problem. If you have never lived with a "wild" teen, you need to keep the "should and aught to" comments to yourself because you have no clue what it feels like to have every moment of your life be a fight. Go back and reread why Martha agreed with Augusta that school is dumb. I understand why she said it--she was trying anything she could to keep her child safe at home and off the streets.
What you should take from this book is that sometimes everything is chaos...everything is a fight. "Pick your battles," I was told. How, do you pick when everything is a battle from homework to clothes to friends to food to tv and music. Go brush your teeth is a battle. Chaos and anxiety is a constant companion if your child is there. And when she is gone, the chaos is still there because she is all you can think about.
Reading this book was like reliving my own nightmare.