The unflinching true account of a teenage girl's descent into society's underbelly -- and her mother's desperate and ultimately successful attempts to bring her back. How does an honor student at one of Los Angeles's finest prep schools -- a bright, beautiful girl from a loving home -- trade school uniforms and afternoons at the beach for shooting up in the back of a van in rural Indiana? How does her devoted mother emerge from the shock of finding that her daughter has not only disappeared but had been living a secret life for more than a year? Mother and daughter tell their parallel stories in mesmerizing first-person accounts. Claire Fontaine's story is a parent's worst nightmare, a cautionary tale chronicling her daughter Mia's drug-fueled manipulation of everyone around her as she sought refuge in the seedy underworld of criminals and heroin addicts, the painful childhood secrets that led up to it, and the healing that followed. Her search for Mia was brutal for both mother and daughter, a dizzying series of dead ends, incredible coincidences and, at times, miracles. Ultimately, Mia was forced into harsh-but-loving boot camp schools on two continents while Claire entered a painful but life-changing program of her own. Mia's story includes the jarring culture shock of the extreme and controversial behavior modification school she was in for nearly two years, which helped her overcome depression and self-hatred to emerge a powerful young woman with self-esteem and courage. An unforgettable story of love and transformation, Come Back is a heart-wrenching and humorous portrayal of the primal bond between mother and daughter that will resonate with women everywhere.
I really enjoyed the two very different voices of both the mother and daughter. It really helped the reader understand and accept how a daughter could find herself on a path to destruction and how the mother is able, through self discovery and pure love to lead her back.
This was another well-written memoir. I just love when I can pick up a story and travel the footprints of one’s' personal journey. Truly, this was that one!
The authors have shown great skill in their structure of this book, with no hole barred. Depicting great scenes and characterizations (with those show me moments) and from the stance of an author. And a reader couldn’t reach for more, than what this book presents in exposing one’s personal journey.
No doubt, this family knows the challenges one may endure when our children tend to sway away, from a loving and caring upbringing. My heart went out to the parents through many of their emotional triumphs. There’s nothing like a mother’s love to pull it all together. Okay, dad, you play a vital role, as well. And so it was . . . a gratifying ending. To both the authors that wrote this story, kudos to you!
Gee, it surprised me that no one had rated this book, before now. It was such an interesting and fantastic read.
Shortly before I finished this book and wrote the paragraph above, I did a bit of research into the Czech program Mia was in. Turns out it was part of the WWASP family of therapeutic "boarding schools", most of which were shut down in the 1990s and early 2000s due to allegations of child torture and abuse. The memoir's timeline is vague, but Wikipedia states that the Mia's program, "Morava", opened and was shut down in 1998. Nonetheless, Claire and Mia seem happy with the program's results. Now that I know about the controversies surrounding the program, Mia and Claire's story seems more like a defense of the WWASP "tough love" approach than anything else. Read with caution.
The story is real. That's what is so great about it. Mia's problems don't just go away with a cup of hot-chocolate. It was nice to see that even the whole family went to therapy and counseling. I was glad that there wasn't a fairy tale ending like most books...this book was mostly the hard part that other books lack. Pretty good read.