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Her Mother's Daughter: A Memoir of the Mother I Never Knew and of My Daughter, Courtney Love Paperback – January 9, 2007
"Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)" by David Sedaris
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From Publishers Weekly
Carroll, a writer and therapist, bore quite a cross in rearing her fiery, unstable daughter, the rock icon who sets this memoir in motion by trumpeting her pregnancy. Fearing a "curse of the firstborn daughter," Carroll is seized with the urge to seek her own biological mother and mend a tattered matrilineal line. She discloses her past with a sprawling account of Catholic schools, friendships, romances and pregnancies in 1960s San Francisco, in prose mired with detail but often wry and touching. Carroll's social-climbing adoptive parents seem at best ambivalent, at worst cruel. In 1993, after Courtney's rise to fame and stormy estrangement from Carroll, the author finds her biological mother: Paula Fox, the acclaimed children's author who became pregnant as an abandoned teen. The two are kindred spirits, and it's a heartwarming twist that the act of writing, on many levels, becomes Carroll's portal to her past. The promise of dish on Courtney and the emotional reunion with Paula—along with Carroll's tender wit and poignant honesty (Courtney's siblings saw her "as glamorous, but with sharp claws and teeth")—will keep readers soldiering through this often exhaustive history.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Despite the suggestive subtitle, Carroll's memoir is far less tell-all than it is her personal recollections of growing up feeling alienated from her adoptive family, her peers, and her religion. Born with an inquisitive mind, Linda has trouble relating to her tightly wound adoptive mother, Louella, and her sexually abusive adoptive father, Jack. While her friendships with other girls are deep and stable, her relationships with men prove to be much more complicated. Carroll finds herself pregnant at 18 by a man she does not love, but she marries him and gives birth to a girl, Courtney. The marriage does not last, and Carroll spends the next decade in search of happiness, marrying twice again and going as far as New Zealand as her relationship with Courtney deteriorates. Years later, when Courtney is pregnant with her own child, Carroll finally seeks her own birth mother and is surprised to discover she is renowned writer Paula Fox. A thoughtful memoir of one woman's coming-of-age in the turbulent 1960s and 1970s. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm taken back that Linda Carroll doesn't understand that the rage her daughter exhibited is a sign of severe sexual abuse and trauma. Also a child drawing pictures of bloody dismembered bodies strongly points to ritual abuse, which just falls in line with the above readings. I feel very bad for all of them but most for Courtney. Very sad. Linda Carroll is a psychologist?? Amazed that not a single psychologist that she took her daughter to mentioned trauma??? Really makes you wonder what is going on here???
Where Carroll is lacking slightly is in her depth of understanding of her adoptive parents' feelings and her own troubled daughter's, although she tries honestly and valiantly to do. Some parts still seem to be missing, and the reader comes away, mostly towards the end, sensing that some parts are just not there.
Nevertheless, it is a well written book, and one that I couldn't put down. It also offers some insight into the 1960s and early 1970s in terms of our views of what works in a family, and what we know now, just doesn't.