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Come Back: a Mother and Daughter's…

Come Back: a Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back (edition 2007)

by Claire Fontaine, Mia Fontaine

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4671734,961 (3.88)3
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.… (more)
Title:Come Back: a Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back
Authors:Claire Fontaine
Other authors:Mia Fontaine
Info:Regan Books (2007), Edition: Later printing, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Bio / Autobio / Memoir, Read in 2011

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Come Back: A Mother and Daughter's Journey Through Hell and Back by Claire Fontaine



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Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Claire and Mia Fontaine's dual memoir Comeback is about teenage daughter Mia's brush with street life and drug addiction, and mother Claire's efforts to save her. Claire has runaway Mia kidnapped and sends her to an unorthodox rehab facility in the Czech Republic, where an intensely structured, almost cult like program helps Mia deal with her long-buried issues, including her sexual abuse at the hands of her biological father. Claire, too, undergoes transformation as she attends therapeutic workshops and examines her own role in bringing about Mia's rebellious behavior. By the end, the memoir gets bogged down in therapy-speak, but, all in all, this is a moving look at the lengths a mother will go to in order to bring her daughter back from the brink of self-destruction.

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. ( )
  akblanchard | Apr 24, 2019 |
Another great book! Mia is sexually abused by her 'old dad' in her early years but manages to grow up 'symptom free' until she runs away from home at 15 and gets into drugs- heavy duty, heroin, crack, etc. Her mother is on a mission to save her daughter's life, even sending her to Eastern Europe for treatment. The story follows their struggles through this hellish journey and they both recover. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 27, 2017 |
I read this because a colleague gave it to me to read, in part because I am going through some tough times (though not quite this tough) with my own adolescent but also because it has some similarities to events in the book lender's own life. I was honored that she wanted me to know this about her, so I can't really be objective about the book and won't rate it.

I don't usually read things like this but it still felt formulaic to me and I found myself wondering what was real, what was truth, and what was a composite. Not that anything takes away from the books emotional impact, which is significant . And as parent, there are certainly feelings that ring true - from intense love to intense guilt - no matter what the circumstances.

It reads a little like an advertisement for certain kinds of troubled youth/teen recovery centers (one of which was under investigation for child abuse itself) which is a little troubling in and of itself.
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
Journeys, life just doesn’t exist without taking one . . .

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. ( )
  Nina_N | Jul 11, 2016 |
I could really relate to Mia in this story. I loved how it was from both the mother and daughters point of view. ( )
  welkeral | Mar 20, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Claire Fontaineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Fontaine, Miamain authorall editionsconfirmed
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