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The daughter of esteemed writer Paula Fox and the mother of Courtney Love relates "the curse of the first-born daughter" that has haunted four generations of her family. As an adopted child, Linda Carroll created a magical world of her own, made up of dramatic adventures and the abiding fantasy that her real mother would come and take her away. When she finds herself pregn The daughter of esteemed writer Paula Fox and the mother of Courtney Love relates "the curse of the first-born daughter" that has haunted four generations of her family. As an adopted child, Linda Carroll created a magical world of her own, made up of dramatic adventures and the abiding fantasy that her real mother would come and take her away. When she finds herself pregnant at the age of eighteen, she is determined to have the perfect understanding with her child that she lacked with her adoptive mother. But readers will know better, for that baby grows up to be Courtney Love, desperately attention-seeking, deeply troubled, and one of the most talented women in rock. Even as a baby, Courtney is beset by mood swings that no doctor can explain or cure. Her dark moods and paranoia escalate as she grows up, driving mother and daughter apart. When Courtney has a daughter of her own, Linda finally decides to find her own biological mother, and end the estrangement of generations of first-born daughters. Her Mother's Daughter is Linda Carroll's story of self-discovery as an adopted daughter, a childlike hippie mother and a woman determined to find herself before finding her roots. Set apart from the typical celebrity memoir by Carroll's gifted storytelling, Her Mother's Daughter gives a fresh perspective on the elusive yet enduring connections between mothers and daughters, and reveals the true history of the wildly confabulatory Courtney Love. LINDA CARROLL was adopted at birth, raised in San Francisco and only later discovered that her biological mother is the writer Paula Fox. Married at eighteen, and twice more before she was thirty, she is now the mother of five grown children, including singer/songwriter Courtney Love. She is a therapist and writer and lives in Corvallis, Oregon with her husband of seventeen years. Advance Praise for Her Mother's Daughter "Even if you start reading Linda Carroll's memoir out of curiosity about her famous daughter and biological mother, you'll keep reading to find out more about Linda herself. This is no celebrity potboiler, but a fascinating, beautifully written work of narrative nonfiction; Carroll unites the intimate perspective of a psychologist, the contextual sense of a historian, and the clarity of a fine biographer in one absorbing package. One of her central themes is what she calls the "curse of the first-born daughter," and it does seem that a tendency to live fascinating but difficult lives runs in these women's veins. But so, apparently, does the talent of drawing, holding, and rewarding our attention. Bravo, Linda Carroll!" --Martha Beck, author of Expecting Adam and Finding Your Own North Star "There is a delicious fictional quality to this true-life story that I found riveting. In Carroll's deft telling, the book is a kind of resurrection of a family.... I think I loved Her Mother's Daughter most for the devotion that Linda Carroll has for her unusual family through decades of separations and unconventional journeys." --Terry Ryan, author of The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio "Looking backward and forward in time, this haunting memoir tells the story of a young woman's journey to finding herself, her birth mother, and her daughter, Courtney Love. The candor and power of these pages illuminates the difficulties of all mother-daughter relationships, but offers a rare glimpse into that elemental relationship when it is shadowed by the temperamental features of early-onset bipolar disorder. Linda Carroll has grit and grace, and writes like her mother's daughter." --Demitri F. Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos, authors of The Bipolar Child


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The daughter of esteemed writer Paula Fox and the mother of Courtney Love relates "the curse of the first-born daughter" that has haunted four generations of her family. As an adopted child, Linda Carroll created a magical world of her own, made up of dramatic adventures and the abiding fantasy that her real mother would come and take her away. When she finds herself pregn The daughter of esteemed writer Paula Fox and the mother of Courtney Love relates "the curse of the first-born daughter" that has haunted four generations of her family. As an adopted child, Linda Carroll created a magical world of her own, made up of dramatic adventures and the abiding fantasy that her real mother would come and take her away. When she finds herself pregnant at the age of eighteen, she is determined to have the perfect understanding with her child that she lacked with her adoptive mother. But readers will know better, for that baby grows up to be Courtney Love, desperately attention-seeking, deeply troubled, and one of the most talented women in rock. Even as a baby, Courtney is beset by mood swings that no doctor can explain or cure. Her dark moods and paranoia escalate as she grows up, driving mother and daughter apart. When Courtney has a daughter of her own, Linda finally decides to find her own biological mother, and end the estrangement of generations of first-born daughters. Her Mother's Daughter is Linda Carroll's story of self-discovery as an adopted daughter, a childlike hippie mother and a woman determined to find herself before finding her roots. Set apart from the typical celebrity memoir by Carroll's gifted storytelling, Her Mother's Daughter gives a fresh perspective on the elusive yet enduring connections between mothers and daughters, and reveals the true history of the wildly confabulatory Courtney Love. LINDA CARROLL was adopted at birth, raised in San Francisco and only later discovered that her biological mother is the writer Paula Fox. Married at eighteen, and twice more before she was thirty, she is now the mother of five grown children, including singer/songwriter Courtney Love. She is a therapist and writer and lives in Corvallis, Oregon with her husband of seventeen years. Advance Praise for Her Mother's Daughter "Even if you start reading Linda Carroll's memoir out of curiosity about her famous daughter and biological mother, you'll keep reading to find out more about Linda herself. This is no celebrity potboiler, but a fascinating, beautifully written work of narrative nonfiction; Carroll unites the intimate perspective of a psychologist, the contextual sense of a historian, and the clarity of a fine biographer in one absorbing package. One of her central themes is what she calls the "curse of the first-born daughter," and it does seem that a tendency to live fascinating but difficult lives runs in these women's veins. But so, apparently, does the talent of drawing, holding, and rewarding our attention. Bravo, Linda Carroll!" --Martha Beck, author of Expecting Adam and Finding Your Own North Star "There is a delicious fictional quality to this true-life story that I found riveting. In Carroll's deft telling, the book is a kind of resurrection of a family.... I think I loved Her Mother's Daughter most for the devotion that Linda Carroll has for her unusual family through decades of separations and unconventional journeys." --Terry Ryan, author of The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio "Looking backward and forward in time, this haunting memoir tells the story of a young woman's journey to finding herself, her birth mother, and her daughter, Courtney Love. The candor and power of these pages illuminates the difficulties of all mother-daughter relationships, but offers a rare glimpse into that elemental relationship when it is shadowed by the temperamental features of early-onset bipolar disorder. Linda Carroll has grit and grace, and writes like her mother's daughter." --Demitri F. Papolos, M.D. and Janice Papolos, authors of The Bipolar Child

30 review for Her Mother's Daughter: A Memoir of the Mother I Never Knew and of My Daughter, Courtney Love

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    In the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge Courtney Love fan. I love her music, admire her defiance, and share many of her shortcomings. So when a friend passed this book along to me, I eagerly pounced on it in the hopes of gaining insight to my favorite singer. Admittedly, I got sucked in from the first page. Not for its sparkling prose, not for its juicy revelations, but for its sheer narcissism. The fact that Linda Carroll is a therapist blows my mind. If I were one of her patients and re In the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge Courtney Love fan. I love her music, admire her defiance, and share many of her shortcomings. So when a friend passed this book along to me, I eagerly pounced on it in the hopes of gaining insight to my favorite singer. Admittedly, I got sucked in from the first page. Not for its sparkling prose, not for its juicy revelations, but for its sheer narcissism. The fact that Linda Carroll is a therapist blows my mind. If I were one of her patients and read this book, I'd run to the nearest psychiatric ward in hopes of having my mind wiped of all traces of her. The entire book is basically an apologia for Courtney by her mom. Apparently, Linda wants to distance herself from her daughter's troubles while cashing in on her fame. From the start, Carroll is perplexed by Courtney's bad behavior. How could such a sweet, loving person like Linda have given birth to a human tornado like Courtney? Well, Ms. Carroll, let me cite some examples from your own book: 1) Your 4 -- count 'em, 4 marriages -- that took your family from pillar to post. FYI, kids don't like having a new dad every 3 years. I realize you may have missed this subtle point while studying to be a social worker, but it's one worth considering when confronted by your daughter's anger. 2) Your total self-obsession. Gee, it's too bad that your 5 children weren't sympathetic while you worked to find yourself throughout the 60s and 70s. The fact that you have 20 more years life experience than them shouldn't matter a whit. I mean, what's the point of creating a stable foundation for your children when you've got the heart of a child yourself? 3) Your bizarre expectations that Courtney should have fit in with your ever-mutating family values. For instance, when your rock star daughter proudly presented you with a fur coat for Christmas, it might have been nicer to say "thanks" than insulting her for bringing animal products into your home. I mean, how the hell was she supposed to know that your newest husband was a PETA supporter? She'd never met him before. BTW, your penchant for adopting your latest lover's causes, then summarily abandoning them as soon as the relationship ends, is not a sign of maturity. If you don't believe me, go and ask any group of sixth graders. They'll tell you the same thing. 4) Your totally disingenuous outrage over Courtney's attention-grabbing antics. "Oh, my God, I can't believe my daughter flipped the bird at a rock concert. Where did she learn such disgraceful behavior? Say, you wouldn't happen to know any agents who could shop this tell-all book around to the major publishing houses, would you? It's hot stuff...I even tell highly personal stories about my grandchild!" 5) Your complete oblivion as to what a rotten mother you truly are. "I was a great mom! Just ask 3 of my 5 kids that are still speaking to me! If you want to hear about a really bad parent, pull up a chair. I'll regale you with a bunch of sob stories about my own mom -- what a bitch!!!" After reading this sordid book, I took a long, hot shower. I felt as though I had immersed myself in a bucket of scum. I was sorely tempted to consign HER MOTHER'S DAUGHTER to the trash bin, but ended up selling it to the local used book store. My reason for passing it on was simple: it serves as a testament to Courtney's resilience. By the way, if you want to read a good book about a troubled mother-daughter relationship, I highly recommend Deborah Spungen's AND I DON'T WANT TO LIVE THIS LIFE: A MOTHER'S STORY OF HER DAUGHTER'S MURDER. Unlike Linda Carroll, Spungen is able to own up to her own limitations as a mother while lamenting her daughter's troubled life. Too bad Linda Carroll didn't read that book before writing this piece of garbage. Then again, it probably wouldn't have helped. Narcissists like this can never identify with anyone else. That's what makes them so special!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Gato Negro

    Just plain awful. The fact that this woman is writing books and currently working as a therapist (!!!) when she lacks total compassion and insight about her own life and her own children is very freaking scary. I would have been embarrassed to publish this book as she glibly tells of her life wherein she essentially jumps from bed to bed and continues to reproduce kids that she leaves all over while she globe trots with her latest conquests, while still married...I found no love for her characte Just plain awful. The fact that this woman is writing books and currently working as a therapist (!!!) when she lacks total compassion and insight about her own life and her own children is very freaking scary. I would have been embarrassed to publish this book as she glibly tells of her life wherein she essentially jumps from bed to bed and continues to reproduce kids that she leaves all over while she globe trots with her latest conquests, while still married...I found no love for her character whatsoever - childhood sexual abuse, dead baby, okay, those are extremely tough things to deal with but the fact that she lacked the intestinal fortitude to take her down a better path (and/or cease going after her best friends' husband!) makes me totally unsympathetic. The most telling part of the book for me came when her adopted son visited a family and refused to come home (at the ripe old age of 7, I think...) and she basically said, okay, so be it...and the family adopted him from her! Is it any wonder her firstborn (Courtney Love) is so filled with rage? I understand the babydoll dresses and Baby Jane-style makeup now, as she was completely robbed of her childhood having to live with a mother like this. I was horrified the whole time I read it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

    I am not surprised that this woman is courtney love's mother

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jayne Lamb

    Fascinating story about how Courtney's mom was a far from typical housewife. Lots of insights for real courtntney fans, others might find it a bit of a struggle.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

    This memoir was written by Courtney Love's mother. It turns out the whole family was a bit insane, though none approached Courtney's levels. Parts of the book seem filtered through later events--such as her ability to tell when Courtney was just an infant that there was something strange about her. But the book isn't just--or primarily--about her daughter's life. She discussed her own upbringing by her adoptive parents, including her lecherous adopted father and unaffectionate mother. She later g This memoir was written by Courtney Love's mother. It turns out the whole family was a bit insane, though none approached Courtney's levels. Parts of the book seem filtered through later events--such as her ability to tell when Courtney was just an infant that there was something strange about her. But the book isn't just--or primarily--about her daughter's life. She discussed her own upbringing by her adoptive parents, including her lecherous adopted father and unaffectionate mother. She later goes through a predictable cycle of dependence on men, wanting to find someone to save her and give her life stability and meaning. She moved almost immediately from one relationship to the next. She has trouble getting over her Catholic upbringing enough to use birth control, so she has 6 children along the way, often at inopportune times. On the one hand, given her upbringing, including sexual molestation by her adopted father and the messed-up relationship between her adoptive parents, I can't blame her too much for taking a while to get her life together and for making many bad decisions along the way. At the same time, it's hard not to be horrified at some of those decisions, particularly giving her adopted son, who she raised for 3 years, to another family he'd only known a couple of months. And the constant uprooting of the kids as they moved to be with one man after another was surely traumatizing. Under other circumstances, I'd probably be doubtful of her account of Courtney's behavior--it might seem like a justification for sending her to live with friends, a stepfather, and then eventually to a group home. And I'm sure the instability of her homelife didn't help Courtney any. But given what we know of her, I'm willing to give her mom the benefit of the doubt and bet that Courtney was an extremely difficult child to deal with even under the best of circumstances and that sending her to a group home probably seemed like the only solution at the time. Honestly, it's hard for me to quite grasp that she has a mother and siblings who probably act somewhat normally and have to hear about her antics second-hand through the media. And I can't even imagine what it would be like to know she's raising your grandchild. So overall it's a short, enjoyable read, even if maybe she lets herself off the hook a little too easily.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    Linda Carroll writes about her life as an adopted daughter, her yearning to know her birth mother, her several kids, couple of marriages and moving to New Zealand with her third husband. Her life story is very interesting. She discusses her first born, Courtney Love, but doesn't overburden her readers with a biography of Courtney. She addresses Courtney's eccentricities but doesn't gloss over the fact that Courtney is a very disturbed woman. Carroll stays truthful throughout but doesn't place bl Linda Carroll writes about her life as an adopted daughter, her yearning to know her birth mother, her several kids, couple of marriages and moving to New Zealand with her third husband. Her life story is very interesting. She discusses her first born, Courtney Love, but doesn't overburden her readers with a biography of Courtney. She addresses Courtney's eccentricities but doesn't gloss over the fact that Courtney is a very disturbed woman. Carroll stays truthful throughout but doesn't place blame or seek sympathy from her readers either. I enjoyed this book very much.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Juliette

    This book is written by Courtney Love's mother, famed therapist Linda Carrol. Aside from the Courtney Love part (which I find really interesting, but it's only a part of the story), this is a really interesting book about growing up in San Francisco, coming of age in SF in the 1960's, dealing with a difficult family and adoption, travel and communes in the 1970's, and the way families remember struggles. It also really sheds light on what sad and lonely childhoods both Carroll and Love experienc This book is written by Courtney Love's mother, famed therapist Linda Carrol. Aside from the Courtney Love part (which I find really interesting, but it's only a part of the story), this is a really interesting book about growing up in San Francisco, coming of age in SF in the 1960's, dealing with a difficult family and adoption, travel and communes in the 1970's, and the way families remember struggles. It also really sheds light on what sad and lonely childhoods both Carroll and Love experienced.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Grace Burgess

    Amazing story, dont know why anyone wouldn't love this book. I am a big Courtney fan and was prepared to hate this book and her mother but after the first chapter I realized this was a very deep,honest, funny and brave woman. By now we know that in spite of her many talents, Courtney does not tell the truth about anything, and I think her mother tells the truth. She does not let herself off the hook, but shows us something deeper and more true about how people develop. She is a great writer and Amazing story, dont know why anyone wouldn't love this book. I am a big Courtney fan and was prepared to hate this book and her mother but after the first chapter I realized this was a very deep,honest, funny and brave woman. By now we know that in spite of her many talents, Courtney does not tell the truth about anything, and I think her mother tells the truth. She does not let herself off the hook, but shows us something deeper and more true about how people develop. She is a great writer and I see where Courntey gets some of her talent, would be such a good movie.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Taylor DeBlase

    Really enjoyed this! Not just about Courtney, more about the complicated bond between mothers and daughters. Insightful. Loved Linda’s story & her voice. Really enjoyed this! Not just about Courtney, more about the complicated bond between mothers and daughters. Insightful. Loved Linda’s story & her voice.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ciara

    of course i only read this because courtney love's mom wrote it. & because it was kind of about trying to be a mother to courtney love. full (totally embarrassing) disclosure: in the early nineties, i was OBSESSED with courtney love. she was my heroine. i had this huge photo album printed with a sunflower theme (remember when sunflowers were "in"), & i clipped every article or photo pertaining to courtney that i came across & stashed it away in this photo album, where everything inevitably got s of course i only read this because courtney love's mom wrote it. & because it was kind of about trying to be a mother to courtney love. full (totally embarrassing) disclosure: in the early nineties, i was OBSESSED with courtney love. she was my heroine. i had this huge photo album printed with a sunflower theme (remember when sunflowers were "in"), & i clipped every article or photo pertaining to courtney that i came across & stashed it away in this photo album, where everything inevitably got sticky & gummy because albums like that are not really meant to be used with newsprint & glossy magazine pages. i wore out my first "live through this" cassette because i listened to it about thirty times a day. the year hole played lollapallooza, i convinced my dad to get me tickets to the detroit show as a birthday present (a perk of having a summertime birthday) & to call off work to drive me up there, but the day before the show, i went to county fair, where i got on the wrong side of some other teenage girls, who soundly beat the ever-loving shit out of me. two black eyes, a broken tooth, i looked HORRIBLE. seriously, i was just a mass of bruises & cuts. (it was two on one--very uncool.) my dad naturally wanted to let my cousin miah scalp the tickets, thinking i was in no state to spend all day in the hot sun listening to loud music...let alone be seen by human eyeballs. but i refused to listen to reason. i was forced to hobble around all day & people actually COWERED from me due to my striking resemblence to a horribly abused side of beef, but nothing was going to come between me & seeing hole in concert! obviously, the obsession has faded since then, especially since courtney got all that plastic surgery & really isn't such a great role model for frances. i mean, the reason i liked courtney is because i thought she was a bad-ass tough girl, super independent, capable of holding her own against anyone. i mean, she married the biggest rock star in the world & still made sure that people paid attention to her, & i felt that in 1993 or so, people were paying attention to her because she was smart & interesting & confident, & not because she snagged a rock star husband. man. youthful naivete, i don't even know what to say. bottom line: this book exploits the shit out of courtney, which is twice as distasteful when it comes from her own mom. she also writes about the katharine power thing (quick history lesson: katharine power was a 60s weather underground-style fugitive--though not in the weather underground. she lived under assumed names & aliases for some twenty years before she finally turned herself in to authorities, partially due to her relationship with linda carroll, her therapist. yes, courtney love's mom worked as a therapist. kind of blows your mind, no?)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bethany

    Her Mother’s Daughter is a memoir by the biological daughter of Paula Fox and the mother of Courtney Love. And yes, they are the same person. Linda Carroll writes her life from her adoption by a childless couple through her reunification with Fox and the birth of her granddaughter, Frances Bean Cobain. She treats her eldest daughter, Courtney, with sensitivity and care; Courtney suffers from bipolar disorder (and if this comes as a shock to anyone, I will be shocked…), but a rare case where symp Her Mother’s Daughter is a memoir by the biological daughter of Paula Fox and the mother of Courtney Love. And yes, they are the same person. Linda Carroll writes her life from her adoption by a childless couple through her reunification with Fox and the birth of her granddaughter, Frances Bean Cobain. She treats her eldest daughter, Courtney, with sensitivity and care; Courtney suffers from bipolar disorder (and if this comes as a shock to anyone, I will be shocked…), but a rare case where symptoms begin at a very early age. In Love’s case, the disorder began expressing itself from the time she was two or three. I picked this up, to be honest, because Courtney Love is a fascinating crazy person, and I wanted to find out what her mother was like. I discovered that her mother was - and is - a person like any other, who went through an awful lot of things in her tender years and beyond. It was a well-written book of self-discovery that was not diminished or increased by the star power of Love’s childhood. In the end, Carroll writes about herself, and that is just as important as a biopic of Love. This is a good read - disturbing at times, but portrays the triumphs and failures of one woman, who is a daughter and a mother, very well.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kitty

    I have no interest in being an author bully, but as a warning: I am going to be a blunt as I possibly can here. As a psychotherapist myself, this book makes me queasy. This narcissist attempts to paint herself as a wide-eyed innocent who either "didn't know any better" as a parent, or was the victim of her own supposedly disturbed child. Don't be fooled. She might be able to pass off past behavior as naivete, but to be a practicing therapist and lack any kind of insight? I call bullshit. If she I have no interest in being an author bully, but as a warning: I am going to be a blunt as I possibly can here. As a psychotherapist myself, this book makes me queasy. This narcissist attempts to paint herself as a wide-eyed innocent who either "didn't know any better" as a parent, or was the victim of her own supposedly disturbed child. Don't be fooled. She might be able to pass off past behavior as naivete, but to be a practicing therapist and lack any kind of insight? I call bullshit. If she owned up to the atrocious mistakes she made it might be easier to forgive her blatant neglect-- and outright abandonment-- of her children. But her frequent assertions that she was an unwitting victim throughout her life, and her inability to take any kind of responsibility for her own behavior make her not just unlikeable and unforgivable, but downright scary. The fact that she is currently a practicing therapist is even more terrifying. I would not be surprised in the least if she has been sued at least once for malpractice. (And maybe she has. I'm not going to waste my energy trying to dig up that information.) People like this are why everyone thinks therapists are "crazy." Thanks, Linda!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Chantay

    I can see the certain issues people have with Linda Carroll, her writing can be childish. I can see her side and other points, she makes me scratch my head. The fact that she married so many times and that she had so many kids. I think it's the fact, that she never clearly talked to Courtney nor defined her point of pain, that she just accepted and made her simply out to be a destructive force. I also don't think on the search for herself did she take anyone, but her drama into account. I unders I can see the certain issues people have with Linda Carroll, her writing can be childish. I can see her side and other points, she makes me scratch my head. The fact that she married so many times and that she had so many kids. I think it's the fact, that she never clearly talked to Courtney nor defined her point of pain, that she just accepted and made her simply out to be a destructive force. I also don't think on the search for herself did she take anyone, but her drama into account. I understand her point with Courtney and how she had to deal with her, I have a personal relationship with someone that is so enraptured and blanketed by their pain and suffering, that they damage the people and relationships around them. It is not easy. I am glad, she found her mother and the connection she needed.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ann Ladd

    If you're expecting this to be a juicy expose, you're going to be disappointed. Linda Carroll's book is a literate, thoughtful, moving account of adoption, growing up Catholic and coming to terms with large life losses and disappointments. That there are some celebrity personages as part of the account is not the main point. This is a very human story - well told - that will encourage and comfort others who find pieces of these issues in their own life passage. Ann Ladd, psychotherapist

  15. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    A story of raising a bipolar child, the history of mental instability in the female lineage in the family. Doesn't focus on Courtney, which is a good thing here.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie66

    Could not put it down, such a honest account of a womans brave struggle to find her roots and herself. Funny, sad, wise and a page turner. reminds me of the Glass Castle.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Clover Youngblood

    Beautiful book. Honest, raw writing. A shattering glimpse in the world of Courtney Love, a beautiful story written by her mother.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stefani

    Mysteriously, vintage Courtney Love interviews have been recirculating in my YouTube lineup for no rhyme or reason other than it's the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's untimely death. Despite my professed hatred of the '90s as they were happening, I am now viewing this decade through the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, and feeling very reminiscent for grunge-era music, smeared makeup, torn baby doll dresses, and Doc Martens. Which brings me to why I checked this book out of the library. I fo Mysteriously, vintage Courtney Love interviews have been recirculating in my YouTube lineup for no rhyme or reason other than it's the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's untimely death. Despite my professed hatred of the '90s as they were happening, I am now viewing this decade through the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, and feeling very reminiscent for grunge-era music, smeared makeup, torn baby doll dresses, and Doc Martens. Which brings me to why I checked this book out of the library. I forgot how much I adore Courtney Love—mostly for her honesty, but also because she's the last of a dying breed of wacked-out celebrity who's intelligent and creative, yet terribly flawed and fucked-up and not afraid to admit it. She's probably not as wacked-out as she once was during her non-sober years, but she's still doesn't give a fuck what anyone thinks of her and I respect that immensely. Anyway, this book is basically garbage because we get very little insight into Ms. Love. Instead, we get a memoir of her mother, Linda Carroll, who happens to have had an interesting life growing up in San Fran in the 1960s, but, if we're being honest, no one really cares about outside the context of her famous daughter. Also strange is the fact that Courtney Love has not spoken to her mother in years if we are to believe what she says, and that makes the motive behind writing this book even odder. Perhaps she's trying to “set the record straight” on what she perceives are a series of lies perpetuated by her daughter in the media? In any case, Courtney pops up as an minor character in the book, mostly in the context of her bad behavior and difficult temperament from birth. To make a long story short, her mom had her at 18, got married and divorced a few times, moved around a lot, and had a bunch of other children. In between all this instability, her “difficult child” Courtney was shuttled between reform and boarding schools, friend's and stepfather's houses, and perhaps a mental hospital. From what it seems like to me, Linda had the best of intentions when it came to her daughter, but, as others have pointed out, seemed to be overly focused on her own personal growth and interests and less on what was best for her children. Other than that, it's kind of a dull read until you get to the parts where Courtney is doing crazy shit like gorging on a full buffet of junk food in the hospital after giving birth to Frances while Kurt is basically passed out next to her. Rock on.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lewis

    I love a good memoir. I expected this one to be similar to Deborah Spungeon's "and I don't want to live this life," given the numerous comparisons between Nancy Spungeon and Linda Carroll's daughter, Courtney Love. Parenting is an obvious theme as the title implies, although Carroll's most famous child is not the primary focus. That said, "her mother's daughter" discussed this author's daughter as less of a nightmare child right out the womb, and discusses more about Love as a babe with complex w I love a good memoir. I expected this one to be similar to Deborah Spungeon's "and I don't want to live this life," given the numerous comparisons between Nancy Spungeon and Linda Carroll's daughter, Courtney Love. Parenting is an obvious theme as the title implies, although Carroll's most famous child is not the primary focus. That said, "her mother's daughter" discussed this author's daughter as less of a nightmare child right out the womb, and discusses more about Love as a babe with complex wiring that Carroll felt she had fallen short of being able to address as a mother. Carroll's insecurities and feelings of isolation and insecurity are the prevailing theme of the book, not her daughter's antics or celebrity. "Her mother's daughter" differs from "And I don't want to live this life" in that it focuses primarily on Carroll's own complexities as a mother and daughter of both her adoptive parents and mysterious birth mother, rather than being a book about the struggles with a nightmare of a parenting experience.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lorri Stanton

    Loved it Linda evolved thru a lot of bad choices, tough adoption issues she lived with, hard self work and an extremely difficult life with Courtney, my own daughter has autism\aspergers and I know what we lived thru, but Courtney seems extreme!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    I mean of COURSE Courtney Love's Mom has had a wild and fascinating life :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Yan Sham-Shackleton

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sum up a book in one sentence challenge: Courtney is crazy not because of me (but as a reader, it was clear it had something to do with her mother.)

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Seems that both of Courtney's parents took her infamy to the bank. Linda, for her part, has a bit of a worthwhile narrative; mainly in sharing the experience of a 1950s Catholic girl in a young and blossoming San Francisco. (As an aside, if anything makes old school Catholics rethink their resistance to birth control, get a load of this lady! She couldn't shake an upbringing of anti-profylactic indoctrination and, whadya know, becomes pregnant by as many men as possible at every inopportune mome Seems that both of Courtney's parents took her infamy to the bank. Linda, for her part, has a bit of a worthwhile narrative; mainly in sharing the experience of a 1950s Catholic girl in a young and blossoming San Francisco. (As an aside, if anything makes old school Catholics rethink their resistance to birth control, get a load of this lady! She couldn't shake an upbringing of anti-profylactic indoctrination and, whadya know, becomes pregnant by as many men as possible at every inopportune moment. Even the early loss of one ovary and one Fallopian tube did not deter her breeding, Wtf.) In the midst of spawning, Ms. Carroll meanders across some culturally significant figures, including members of The Grateful Dead before they were The Dead, finding that her birth mom is an acclaimed writer, and -most significantly- birthing the entertainingly insane Courtney Love. Linda sells herself as a well-intentioned, albeit misguided & man-crazy, naive doe-eyed waif, who happened to have an uncontrollable nut bag for a daughter; Courtney Love's PR crew decried the memoir as a "work of fiction," but me thinks the truth is somewhere in the middle. Likely this book contains the truth, but not quite the whole truth, and thus flatters its author considerably. Still not a bad read although slow at times, certainly more highly palatable for those interested in the author's most well known daughter, as the title does allude.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    Since I am ridiculously hooked on memoir and nonfiction accounts of peoples lives, I loved this book. In the forward, Linda tells of many rewrites and there were a couple of places where I felt it was choppy and one person was introduced after they were mentioned, so I can bet it was a struggle finishing this one. And that makes sense to me, because I can imagine it was hard to write such a busy life story. I love having the background on Courtney Love, too. I've always wondered what her story w Since I am ridiculously hooked on memoir and nonfiction accounts of peoples lives, I loved this book. In the forward, Linda tells of many rewrites and there were a couple of places where I felt it was choppy and one person was introduced after they were mentioned, so I can bet it was a struggle finishing this one. And that makes sense to me, because I can imagine it was hard to write such a busy life story. I love having the background on Courtney Love, too. I've always wondered what her story was and now I can understand a lot more about her. I remember well the rise of Nirvana (ahhhh the good old days of life before children, living in the City...) into the stratosphere of music and Courtney's many faces of that journey. Mostly though this book is a great example of families and the many changes we morph through in our struggles through this life. The cycles of mothers and daughters throughout the generations can't be denied, even when they are separated at birth as it happened to Linda and so many others during that time period. I'm so glad we've become a more open society and that women have more decision making possibilities in most places. Not that we don't have a long way to go still, but these kinds of stories remind us to keep working to bring knowledge and information to every girl we can.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vicki

    I have always been fascinted with pop culture. As a teenage in the 90's I was always fascinated by Courtney Love. I read this book hoping I would figure out what created her. This book is more about her mother's life than hers, but it is still pretty interesting. It paints a good portrait of what it must have been like to grow up in San Francisco in the 60's. This women lived a crazy life, and seemed to provide the most unstable home to grow up in. Although I think she sees it differently.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    I wanted to like this book better. The author is the daughter of an author I like (Paula Fox) and the mother of Courtney Love. The "first daughter" link among this family is strong and could have been expanded upon. A few clues along the way led me to think that this book was written to tell the author's side of the story, which to me sours the "memoir". One sentence near the end confirmed this for me. Was this book written to spite Courtney?

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    This book was well written. It's written by Courtney Love's mom and was mostly about her life as an adopted child and how her life was kind of chaotic. And it also does go into her life as a mother to CL. Currently Linda Carroll is a therapist and I was impressed how she picked herself up and made something of her life.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Faye

    Story of Courtney Love's mother--Courtney as a difficult (crazy) child-the mother's adoption and search for birthmother--a writer--she finds her and the family bonds. Courtney always a problem--Linda Carroll had a bunch of kids- a bunch of marriages and men.....Not very well written??

  29. 4 out of 5

    Gina

    Carroll's story is interesting, though often frustrating. Over and over you see people make bad choices, and they are sympathetic, so you want better for them, but they can't or won't follow through. I think the two key lessons are the importance of connection and the danger of passivity.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Grace Peterson

    This book was fascinating. Three generations, the author is the middle generation. Her story is heartfelt and candid and well worth the read. If you're looking for an expose on Courtney Love you should probably look elsewhere. This story is much more.

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