Friday, July 14, 2006

My Old Sweetheart by Susanna Moore

I am so glad that I gave this book a chance, because I hated In the Cut. This book is a marvelous novel set in Hawaii about a twisted, co-dependent mother/daughter relationship. A young woman looks at her childhood and her mother’s intoxicating beauty and suffocating need in the hopes of trying to understand the past and not duplicate the same unhealthy relationship with her own daughter.
English Passengers by Matthew Kneale

My book group just loved this book and I was so terrified that they would hate me for choosing it! Several members told me that an hour just was not enough for discussing this book.
I really enjoyed it too, but it took me so long (two weeks) to read it, that I began to resent it a little. Or resent myself a little for being mostly incapable these days of reading more than one book at once. But it is right up my alley—a historical novel about Tasmania told from multiple characters’ perspectives detailing the colonization of the island and the destruction of the Aboriginal people and culture.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Come Back: a mother and daughter’s journey through hell and back by Claire and Mia Fontaine

This mother-daughter memoir really packed an emotional wollop for me. For one, because my sister has been struggling with depression and substance abuse and is in a rehabilitation facility right now. Claire and Mia tell their stories about how at 15 Mia ran away from their Los Angeles home to live with street youth and ‘experience life.’ Mia had been hiding a dark, double life she had been leading—a darkness that led her to believe that she did not deserve a stable, comfortable life and could spare her parents pain if she ran away. Mia was abused by her biological father as a young child, and those emotional scars ran deep—something Claire was not wholly prepared for. When Mia was found in a skinhead’s van in Indiana, Claire decided to send her to a behavioral modification facility in the Czech Republic. Thus begins a year of hardship and emotional transformation for both Mia and Claire. The workshops and personal journeys that they undertake were the most powerful sections for me—for how honest they were, for the honesty the sessions demanded, and for what they learned about themselves and each other. I couldn’t put this book down, and was so thankful that they shared their stories.