'Unraveling Anne', Laurel Saville
Book Description: “After all, this is my mother we’re talking about. As her daughter, I belonged to her; as my mother, she also belongs to me. I don’t have her anymore, but I still have her story.”
In 1950s Los Angeles, Anne Ford was the epitome of the California golden girl, a former beauty queen and model-turned-fashion designer whose success and charm were legendary. So how is it possible that such a woman could die in squalor, an alcoholic street person brutally murdered in a burnt-out West Hollywood building?
In searching for answers to the heartbreaking trajectory of her mother’s life, writer Laurel Saville plumbed the depths of Anne’s troubled past and her own eccentric childhood to untangle the truth of an exceptional, yet tragic, existence. What she discovered was a woman who was beautiful, well-educated, and talented—yet tormented by internal demons and no match for the hedonistic culture of Southern California in the 1960s and 70s.
With unflinching honesty and stirring compassion, Saville struggles to reconcile the two faces her mother presented the world: the glamour-girl-about-town the public saw and the unpredictable, bitter alcoholic her children knew. Most importantly, Saville explores how what we bring forward from previous generations can shape our own lives, and how compassion and love for a difficult parent can be a person’s bridge to a better life.
I know the cover of this book was most likely produced with only hardcover/paperback readers in mind. It's a bit dark for e-readers (other than the i-pad or nook color). The overall effect is good, quite ominous in fact. I like it. I just would have like a slightly lighter background. It would have made it easier to scrutinize all the dirty details.
If you were a child of alcoholic parents, you really need to read this book. If you are the grown child of a mentally unstable parent, you really need to read this book. If you like to look inside others rough experiences and thank God that you never had to live through such events...yep, you guessed it, you will love this book.
Laurel Saville does an excellent job taking the reader to haunted corners of living with an unstable parent, sparing the reader nothing. She gives you the raw, gritty truth. Not one to seek out sympathy, she makes it clear her life has been a journey, filled with complexities that some want to compartmentalize: alcoholic, artist, narcissist, drug addict, slut...
All of the former are used to describe her mother, yet none fit as an all inclusive label.
Anne Ford, a young woman with a promising art/fashion design career slides down into the canyon, losing her grip on sanity, and still maintaining her creativity and spark that drew so many to her. But can her daughter Laurel forgive her sins as a mother, reconcile the many pieces that make up Anne, and become a whole person in her own right? It sounds like fiction, but I promise you, it's not. It is the journey of Laurel Saville, as she unravels the mysteries of her mother Anne. I give her tons of credit. it could not be easy to move past the hurts inflicted on her as a young girl.
It is a heavy read.
It is an excellent read.
I highly recommend it.
Right now you can pick up your copy of, 'Unraveling Anne' on Amazon.com for under $8.00,unless you are an 'Amazon Prime' member, in which case it is FREE.