by Claire and Mia Fontaine
Published: 10/6/2009 by Harper Collins
3.5 out of 5 stars
This memoir, written in alternate voices by mother and daughter, tells
the story of Claire and Mia Fontaine. After suffering abuse from her
father as a child, Mia becomes rebellious and troubled during her teen
years. Addicted to drugs, she runs away from home and leads her mother
Claire on a chase around the country in an attempt to bring her home
safely. Ultimately, Claire decides to send Mia to an extreme reform
school in the Czech Republic. The second half of the book chronicles
both Claire and Mia's therapy and recovery.
As a mother to two
daughters, I am always drawn to mother/daughter stories. This one
definitely grabbed my attention from the beginning. As a mother, I
cannot even imagine what this experiences was like for Claire. I don't
even want to think about being in her shoes and experiencing the fear
and helplessness she felt as she watched her daughter go through this. I
also cannot imagine ever having the courage to send my daughter halfway
across the world, then leave her alone there with strangers in a
strange school! In this case, I believe this was the right thing to do
for Mia, but it is just so hard to comprehend what that would have been
like for Claire.
My biggest complaint about this book is Claire's
portion of the writing. I found myself more drawn to Mia's sections.
After a while, I started to get a little bored/annoyed with Claire.
Even though Claire should have been the one that I most identified with,
it was Mia that I wanted to read more about.
And with both
Claire and Mia, by the end, I was just ready for the book to be over. I
know that the road to recovery and self-awareness was not easy, but the
therapy session descriptions started to feel very redundant.
the end, this was an eye-opening, interesting and encouraging book about
what mothers and daughters are able to endure together. While things
looked incredibly grim for Mia and Claire's relationship for much of the
book, I loved seeing how they were able to be honest with each and grow
their relationship into something strong, real and lasting.