Hold Me Close, Let Me Go: A Mother, a Daughter and an Adolescence Survived

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Crown/Archetype, Jul 3, 2001 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
What does a mother do when her teenaged daughter is spinning out of control and nothing is bringing her back? Here is a searingly honest memoir of motherhood and a testament to the power of love and family.

When Adair Lara’s daughter Morgan turned thirteen, she was transformed, seemingly overnight, from a sweet, loving child into an angry, secretive teenager who would neither listen nor be disciplined. The author, her youngest son, Patrick, her ex-husband, Jim, and her new husband, Bill, all stepped on a five-year roller-coaster ride in which Morgan incarnated the chaos principle in torn jeans and dyed hair. Drinking, drugging, disappearing, suspicious companions, failing and cheating at school, joy riding in a stolen car–there was no variety of adolescent acting out that she didn’t indulge in. For Adair Lara it became an endless sojourn at the end of her rope, a trial immensely complicated by the reappearance in her life of her aging father, a man who had abandoned his wife and seven children decades earlier. Inevitably, Morgan’s misbehavior revives memories of her own headstrong adolescence, while her father’s presence makes agonizingly real for her the consequences of giving up. Paradoxically, he also becomes the source of her best advice.

Hold Me Close, Let Me Go is an emotionally charged, often brutally honest memoir that all parents (and anyone who was ever a teenager) will experience shocks of recognition from while reading. It imparts invaluable lessons about holding loved ones close through the roughest passages and about the power of family to overcome the most grievous obstacles. Adair Lara is a clear-eyed and eloquent witness to the complex costs and rewards of motherhood, and her book will redefine for readers their idea of what being “a good enough mother” really means.

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HOLD ME CLOSE, LET ME GO: A Mother, a Daughter, and an Adolescence Survived

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San Francisco Chronicle columnist Lara turns to memoir.No one said raising teenagers was easy, but no one said it should necessarily involve drugs, truancy, alcoholism, and abortions, either. The ... Read full review

Hold me close, let me go: a mother, a daughter, and an adolescence survived

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

"Normal was gone," writes divorced boomer Dudman in her powerful account of her daughter Augusta's stormy adolescence. Drugs, smoking, truancy, lies, sex, stealing Augusta, 15, did it all in a ... Read full review


Title Page Dedication Epigraph Acknowledgments
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19

Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11

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About the author (2001)

Adair Lara is an award-winning newspaper columnist whose column appears twice weekly in the San Francisco Chronicle. She is the author of five books, including Welcome to Earth, Mom; Slowing Down in a Speeded-Up World;and her latest, The Best of Adair Lara. Her articles and essays have appeared in Redbook, Ladies’ Home Journal, Parenting, Good Housekeeping, Reader’s Digest and other national publications. She lives in San Francisco; her daughter Morgan has just graduated from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

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