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on 4 November 2009
For the fans of Joan Crawford this is undoubtedly a difficult read, to the point where they throw their hands up in horror and scream "Liar" at the author.
Christina Crawford has my utmost sympathy and thanks. As someone who grew up with an alcoholic mother, I could immediately identify with what she was writing, in fact to date this is the first book I have read on the subject where I felt that way. The erratic mood swings, the midnight raids and being dragged out of bed, the screaming tirades ... I found this book a difficult read but only because it put me right back there again.
What goes on behind closed doors can be truly shocking and for a child the most terrifying thing of all is to know that everyone else perceives your parent quite differently and that they buy into the personable public image. When your mother was a movie star and not just an ordinary "mum" as mine was, the horror of that situation must have been immense.
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on 6 June 2008
I was determined to approach this book with an unbiased and open mind having read a great many of other peoples opinions on the book.I am not particularly a Joan Crawford fan but still had an interest in reading the book.
From a negative point of view, i felt that sometimes Christina's writing style could be at times a little irritating, particularly at the beginning of the book when she lapses into the vernacular and keeps using exclamation marks to punctuate every bit of drama.However as the book goes on i felt that improved.
I also felt that at the points where her anger towards her mother reaches a peak that the name calling that punctutates the book wasn't necessary, whatever her mother had or hadn't done to her.I felt that her anger and emotion came through perfectly well without it.
On the positive side i felt that her recollection of events was very detailed with a great many people who seemed to have witnessed an awful lot of what allegedly went on.I also felt that there were times (particularly when she reached adulthood later on the book)that she showed that she clearly loved her mother.She also was keen to point out times that they had that were memorable and enjoyable.I didn't get the impression that this was someone who wanted to paint a picture of someone as 'all bad'.Crawford seemed to want to reach an understanding about how she felt her mother was like she was, and the relationship the two of them had together.In places her confusion is palpable.
However much of this book is truth and how much is fiction is really only known by the author.All the rest of the world can do is speculate.
Overall i thought the book was mostly very well written and an enjoyable read.
As this was really the first 'tell all' book of its kind, i can see where the controversy came from.
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on 29 November 2014
The worst part of emotional abuse from your parents is the difficulty of putting your experience into words so that someone will listen and believe you. Like all bullying, any one incident can be brushed aside with some platitude. I could always make people laugh with tales of my mother, but never communicate the impact it had on me or my siblings. I marvel at Christina Crawford for the courage to write this, but more for her capacity to be able to articulate it. The only other book that's captured the everydayness of abuse of a mother that I've found is Christina Stead's 'The Man who Loved Children'.

It is fast paced, jumps around a bit, doesn't conclude every tale and doesn't tell you how to survive or recover. It does though share someone else's tradgedy that can help make sense of your own, and validate it.

From a therapeutic perspective I'd thoroughly recommend Beverly Engel's 'The Emotionally Abusive Relationship'; and C A Lawson's 'Understanding the Borderline Mother'. Both terrific books that explained everything.
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on 10 July 2015
An excellent read, this is the first book I have read about Joan Crawford, one of my all time favourite actresses of her era, a marvellous actress.
When I cant put a book down, then I know it is a riveting read, and this was, absolutely brilliant and obviously all true because of being written
by her daughter Christina. She and her brother, not so much her adopted sisters, were subjected to physical cruelty, and extreme mental and verbal cruelty and abuse by their mother Joan Crawford. I came to the conclusion after reading the book, that their mother was extremely sick, yes she was a superb actress in my opinion, but I feel that she had very little thought or feeling for the children, especially Christina, who was the one out of the four of them, who was always there for her, particularly in latter years. To shun her in the ways that she did, especially regarding sending her away to school for such long periods, and the mental cruelty that she must have suffered in so many ways, for me is unforgivable.
If you love to watch JC in films don't hesitate to buy this book.
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on 21 March 2012
Was recommended this book by my sister & as I generally only like to read biographies thought I'd give it a try. Could not put this book down, you can put yourself in Cristina's shoes the way it is wrote. I cried at certain points in the book & anticipated what was going to happen next. I would definately recommend this book, you will not be disappointed.
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on 14 May 2004
This book is a must read especially for the fans of the old movies and stars. A fascinating insight into the life of Joan Crawford and her daughter. Heart rendering read as told by daughter Christina Crawford. Their troubled relationship and Joans sometimes violent and irrational behaviour. A classic read that you won't want to put down and will want to keep on your book shelf.
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on 6 February 2012
a great book and easy to read and gives a different perspective on joan crawford from the point of view of her adopted daughter this really lets the reader learn how life was with one of hollywood's leading ladies
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on 9 September 2015
Having seen the movie, I was curious to get the whole story, and it certainly didn't disappoint me.
I think Christina Crawford does a great job telling her life story, and admire her for sharing.
It makes you think a lot about the subject of child abuse in the home, and those, whatever they're from rich or poor families, who don't have the same courage or strength to speak up for themselves. The book might be "old", but the subject is as current today as ever.
I strongly recommend this book.
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on 25 October 2009
This is the true story of Joan Crawfords adopted daughter Christina and how she was treated by her "mother". This is a very sad book that had me in tears a number of times and goes to show what goes on behind movie stars doors.
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on 23 August 2015
I caught a bit of the movie years ago on telly and made a mental note to keep an eye out for it again. That 15 mins I caught was enough to intrigue me. I eventually got round to ordering the book and it was a very interesting read, I couldn't put it down. I'm never surprised by what goes on behind closed doors, especially in the world of celebrity but even still some of the content was quite shocking and I will never watch a Joan Crawford movie in quite the same way again.
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