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

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  237 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
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
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Doubleday Books
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Sep 19, 2007 Stephanie added it
Recommends it for: anyone contemplating matricide
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
Dec 23, 2009 Terry rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir
Blecch. I stumbled across this while waiting for Paula Fox's Borrowed Finery to arrive. Mmmph. Ostensibly a memoir about being an adopted daughter who struggles with her own daughter who just HAPPENS TO BE a very famous person, this is really just a chronicle of various relationships with men. BO. RING. And despite patting herself on the back for being, like, so self-aware that she becomes a healer, like, it's pretty atrocious that a woman who dines out on the anguish she suffered as an adoptee ...more
May 17, 2007 Catherine rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jayne Lamb
Jul 27, 2011 Jayne Lamb rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 02, 2010 Katrina rated it really liked it
I am not surprised that this woman is courtney love's mother
Dec 30, 2015 Juliette rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who liked Jeanette Walls "The Glass Castle"
Shelves: memoirs, rock-n-roll
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 ...more
Grace Burgess
Jan 08, 2012 Grace Burgess rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 24, 2015 Angi rated it did not like it
Shelves: rock-bio
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 ...more
Jan 10, 2008 Bethany rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, music
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 ...more
Ann Ladd
Sep 16, 2011 Ann Ladd rated it it was amazing
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
Clover  Youngblood
Feb 16, 2013 Clover Youngblood rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Courtney Love fans, memoir fans, mother daughter book clubs
Recommended to Clover by: Courtney Love is my savior
Shelves: autobiographies
Beautiful book. Honest, raw writing. A shattering glimpse in the world of Courtney Love, a beautiful story written by her mother.
Jun 13, 2008 Sara rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 12, 2011 Katie66 rated it it was amazing
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.
Dec 11, 2008 Ciara rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: courtney love obsessives, evil exploitative mothers everywhere, few others
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 ...more
Apr 16, 2008 Gwen rated it really liked it
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
Aug 20, 2015 Nancy rated it liked it
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 ...more
May 09, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Jan 14, 2016 V rated it did not like it
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 ...more
I can see the certain issues people have with Linda Carroll, he 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 ...more
Mar 14, 2007 Vicki rated it liked it
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.
Jan 08, 2014 Deb rated it liked it
I liked this book much more than the 3 star rating until I got to the end. I couldn't help but think Linda was writing to Courtney an explanation/apology. Reading about growing up in San Francisco during the 50-60's was engrossing. I felt a connection to her as an adopted, disconnected girl. When she grew up and let men rule her life more, I lost that feeling of connection to her story, but it was well written and worthwhile reading and I'd recommend it. Her search and discovery of her biomom ...more
Dec 20, 2015 Jean rated it liked it
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?
Sep 06, 2011 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 03, 2007 Faye rated it it was ok
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??
May 23, 2014 Gina rated it liked it
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.
Grace Peterson
Sep 06, 2012 Grace Peterson rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 25, 2008 Valentina rated it liked it
Not only a good book..but you'll find out whether Courtney Love is for real or just pretending, assuming you are interested in knowing it:) Girlie book..
Liliandwyre rated it liked it
Jul 02, 2008
Michele Kabacinski
Michele Kabacinski rated it liked it
Oct 01, 2016
Ami Church
Feb 17, 2011 Ami Church rated it liked it
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Linda Carroll, MS, has worked as a couple's therapist for more than 30 years. In addition to being a licensed psychotherapist, she is certified in Transpersonal Psychology and Imago Therapy, the highly successful form of couple's therapy developed by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt. She is also a master teacher in the Pairs Psychoeducation Process, a nationally-recognized ...more
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